WorldWideScience

Sample records for understand biodiversity loss

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebelkorn, Florian; Menzel, Susanne

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Dimensions of biodiversity loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more

  3. Economic inequality predicts biodiversity loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M Mikkelson

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

  4. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-04

    Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions-58% of these groups' contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as "possibly extinct." Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall. Species most at risk from predators have high evolutionary distinctiveness and inhabit insular environments. Invasive mammalian predators are therefore important drivers of irreversible loss of phylogenetic diversity worldwide. That most impacted species are insular indicates that management of invasive predators on islands should be a global conservation priority. Understanding and mitigating the impact of invasive mammalian predators is essential for reducing the rate of global biodiversity loss.

  5. Biodiversity losses: The downward spiral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomback, Diana F.; Kendall, Katherine C.; Tomback, Diana F.; Arno, Stephen F.; Keane, Robert E.

    2001-01-01

    The dramatic decline of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) populations in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada from the combined effects of fire exclusion, mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae), and white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and the projected decline of whitebark pine populations rangewide (Chapters 10 and 11) do not simply add up to local extirpations of a single tree species. Instead, the loss of whitebark pine has broad ecosystem-level consequences, eroding local plant and animal biodiversity, changing the time frame of succession, and altering the distribution of subalpine vegetation (Chapter 1). One potential casualty of this decline may be the midcontinental populations of the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), which use whitebark pine seeds as a major food source (Chapter 7). Furthermore, whitebark pine is linked to other white pine ecosystems in the West through its seed-disperser, Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) (Chapter 5). Major declines in nutcracker populations ultimately seal the fate of several white pine ecosystems, and raise the question of whether restoration is possible once a certain threshold of decline is reached.

  6. Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Simon; Adger, W Neil

    2003-05-01

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

  7. Biodiversity losses and conservation responses in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher N; Balmford, Andrew; Brook, Barry W; Buettel, Jessie C; Galetti, Mauro; Guangchun, Lei; Wilmshurst, Janet M

    2017-04-21

    Biodiversity is essential to human well-being, but people have been reducing biodiversity throughout human history. Loss of species and degradation of ecosystems are likely to further accelerate in the coming years. Our understanding of this crisis is now clear, and world leaders have pledged to avert it. Nonetheless, global goals to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss have mostly not been achieved. However, many examples of conservation success show that losses can be halted and even reversed. Building on these lessons to turn the tide of biodiversity loss will require bold and innovative action to transform historical relationships between human populations and nature. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. Banning Trophy Hunting Will Exacerbate Biodiversity Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    International pressure to ban trophy hunting is increasing. However, we argue that trophy hunting can be an important conservation tool, provided it can be done in a controlled manner to benefit biodiversity conservation and local people. Where political and governance structures are adequate, trophy hunting can help address the ongoing loss of species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Consistent effects of biodiversity loss on multifunctionality across contrasting ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanin, Nicolas; Gundale, Michael J; Farrell, Mark; Ciobanu, Marcel; Baldock, Jeff A; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Kardol, Paul; Wardle, David A

    2018-02-01

    Understanding how loss of biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning, and thus the delivery of ecosystem goods and services, has become increasingly necessary in a changing world. Considerable recent attention has focused on predicting how biodiversity loss simultaneously impacts multiple ecosystem functions (that is, ecosystem multifunctionality), but the ways in which these effects vary across ecosystems remain unclear. Here, we report the results of two 19-year plant diversity manipulation experiments, each established across a strong environmental gradient. Although the effects of plant and associated fungal diversity loss on individual functions frequently differed among ecosystems, the consequences of biodiversity loss for multifunctionality were relatively invariant. However, the context-dependency of biodiversity effects also worked in opposing directions for different individual functions, meaning that similar multifunctionality values across contrasting ecosystems could potentially mask important differences in the effects of biodiversity on functioning among ecosystems. Our findings highlight that an understanding of the relative contribution of species or functional groups to individual ecosystem functions among contrasting ecosystems and their interactions (that is, complementarity versus competition) is critical for guiding management efforts aimed at maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services.

  10. Global biodiversity loss: Exaggerated versus realistic estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John C. Briggs

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, M.P.; Sanders, M.E.; Tekelenburg, A.; Gerritsen, A.L.; Lörzing, J.A.; Brink, Th.

    2010-01-01

    Our assessment from the perspective of the Netherlands, a country in the temperate zone, showed a slightly positive picture, in line with the overall results for this zone. The loss of biodiversity in the Netherlands has been slowed down, but the European target – halting the loss of biodiversity

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Tropical forest degradation emits carbon at a rate of similar to 0.5 Pg.y(-1), reduces biodiversity, and facilitates forest clearance. Understanding degradation drivers and patterns is therefore crucial to managing forests to mitigate climate change and reduce biodiversity loss. Putative patterns...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic...... trait when analysing the consequences of biodiversity loss for natural ecosystems. Applying size-structured approaches provides an integrative ecological concept that enables a better understanding of each species' unique role across communities and the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss....... and use novel allometric and size-spectrum concepts that include body mass as a primary species trait at the levels of populations and individuals, respectively, to re-assess three classic debates on the relationships between biodiversity and (i) food-web structural complexity, (ii) community dynamic...

  16. Biodiversity loss in Ghana: The human factor | Bennett-Lartey ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Loss of biodiversity in Ghana is due to human activities and other environmental factors. The country loses a great proportion of its biodiversity, due mainly to unacceptable practices like slash and burn agriculture, surface mining, construction activities and bushfires. Various conservation measures practiced in Ghana have ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfi, Amelia A; Zavaleta, Erika S

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Reductions in global biodiversity loss predicted from conservation spending

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldron, Anthony; Miller, Daniel C.; Redding, Dave; Mooers, Arne; Kuhn, Tyler S.; Nibbelink, Nate; Roberts, J. Timmons; Tobias, Joseph A.; Gittleman, John L.

    2017-11-01

    Halting global biodiversity loss is central to the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but success to date has been very limited. A critical determinant of success in achieving these goals is the financing that is committed to maintaining biodiversity; however, financing decisions are hindered by considerable uncertainty over the likely impact of any conservation investment. For greater effectiveness, we need an evidence-based model that shows how conservation spending quantitatively reduces the rate of biodiversity loss. Here we demonstrate such a model, and empirically quantify how conservation investment between 1996 and 2008 reduced biodiversity loss in 109 countries (signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals), by a median average of 29% per country. We also show that biodiversity changes in signatory countries can be predicted with high accuracy, using a dual model that balances the effects of conservation investment against those of economic, agricultural and population growth (human development pressures). Decision-makers can use this model to forecast the improvement that any proposed biodiversity budget would achieve under various scenarios of human development pressure, and then compare these forecasts to any chosen policy target. We find that the impact of spending decreases as human development pressures grow, which implies that funding may need to increase over time. The model offers a flexible tool for balancing the Sustainable Development Goals of human development and maintaining biodiversity, by predicting the dynamic changes in conservation finance that will be needed as human development proceeds.

  1. Reductions in global biodiversity loss predicted from conservation spending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldron, Anthony; Miller, Daniel C; Redding, Dave; Mooers, Arne; Kuhn, Tyler S; Nibbelink, Nate; Roberts, J Timmons; Tobias, Joseph A; Gittleman, John L

    2017-11-16

    Halting global biodiversity loss is central to the Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but success to date has been very limited. A critical determinant of success in achieving these goals is the financing that is committed to maintaining biodiversity; however, financing decisions are hindered by considerable uncertainty over the likely impact of any conservation investment. For greater effectiveness, we need an evidence-based model that shows how conservation spending quantitatively reduces the rate of biodiversity loss. Here we demonstrate such a model, and empirically quantify how conservation investment reduced biodiversity loss in 109 countries (signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals), by a median average of 29% per country between 1996 and 2008. We also show that biodiversity changes in signatory countries can be predicted with high accuracy, using a dual model that balances the effects of conservation investment against those of economic, agricultural and population growth (human development pressures). Decision-makers can use this model to forecast the improvement that any proposed biodiversity budget would achieve under various scenarios of human development pressure, and then compare these forecasts to any chosen policy target. We find that the impact of spending decreases as human development pressures grow, which implies that funding may need to increase over time. The model offers a flexible tool for balancing the Sustainable Development Goals of human development and maintaining biodiversity, by predicting the dynamic changes in conservation finance that will be needed as human development proceeds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Governance and the loss of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R J; Muir, R D J; Walpole, M J; Balmford, A; Leader-Williams, N

    2003-11-06

    Most of the world's biodiversity occurs within developing countries that require donor support to build their conservation capacity. Unfortunately, some of these countries experience high levels of political corruption, which may limit the success of conservation projects by reducing effective funding levels and distorting priorities. We investigated whether changes in three well surveyed and widespread components of biodiversity were associated with national governance scores and other socio-economic measures. Here we show that governance scores were correlated with changes in total forest cover, but not with changes in natural forest cover. We found strong associations between governance scores and changes in the numbers of African elephants and black rhinoceroses, and these socio-economic factors explained observed patterns better than any others. Finally, we show that countries rich in species and identified as containing priority areas for conservation have lower governance scores than other nations. These results stress the need for conservationists to develop and implement policies that reduce the effects of political corruption and, in this regard, we question the universal applicability of an influential approach to conservation that seeks to ban international trade in endangered species.

  4. Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betts, Matthew G; Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J; Phalan, Ben; Millers, Kimberley A; Duarte, Adam; Butchart, Stuart H M; Levi, Taal

    2017-07-27

    Global biodiversity loss is a critical environmental crisis, yet the lack of spatial data on biodiversity threats has hindered conservation strategies. Theory predicts that abrupt biodiversity declines are most likely to occur when habitat availability is reduced to very low levels in the landscape (10-30%). Alternatively, recent evidence indicates that biodiversity is best conserved by minimizing human intrusion into intact and relatively unfragmented landscapes. Here we use recently available forest loss data to test deforestation effects on International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List categories of extinction risk for 19,432 vertebrate species worldwide. As expected, deforestation substantially increased the odds of a species being listed as threatened, undergoing recent upgrading to a higher threat category and exhibiting declining populations. More importantly, we show that these risks were disproportionately high in relatively intact landscapes; even minimal deforestation has had severe consequences for vertebrate biodiversity. We found little support for the alternative hypothesis that forest loss is most detrimental in already fragmented landscapes. Spatial analysis revealed high-risk hot spots in Borneo, the central Amazon and the Congo Basin. In these regions, our model predicts that 121-219 species will become threatened under current rates of forest loss over the next 30 years. Given that only 17.9% of these high-risk areas are formally protected and only 8.9% have strict protection, new large-scale conservation efforts to protect intact forests are necessary to slow deforestation rates and to avert a new wave of global extinctions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter

    2015-11-17

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

  7. Nature Watch-Biological Invasion and Loss of Endemic Biodiversity ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 6; Issue 3. Nature Watch - Biological Invasion and Loss of Endemic Biodiversity in the Thar Desert. Ishwar Prakash. Feature Article Volume 6 Issue 3 March 2001 pp 76-85. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  8. Socioeconomic Root Causes of Biodiversity Loss in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anitry N. Ratsifandrihamanana; Dawn Montanye; Sarah Christiansen; Sheila O' Connor

    2006-01-01

    In 2000 and 2001 a root cause analysis was conducted for the Spiny Forest Ecoregion in Madagascar, identifying the local level root causes of biodiversity loss in the ecoregion as well as the policy and institutional issues at the national and international levels that contribute to them. Most of the research was conducted in and around Tulear and Fort Dauphin....

  9. Biological Invasion and Loss of Endemic Biodiversity in the Thar ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 6; Issue 3. Nature Watch - Biological Invasion and Loss of Endemic Biodiversity in the Thar Desert. Ishwar Prakash. Feature Article Volume 6 Issue 3 March 2001 pp 76-85. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  10. The Birds of Makerere Hill: A Loss of Biodiversity | Pomeroy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Birds of Makerere Hill: A Loss of Biodiversity. Derek Pomeroy. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/uj.v48i1.23000 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians ...

  11. Biodiversity loss and infectious diseases: chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  13. Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-08

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

  15. Biodiversity in the City: Fundamental Questions for Understanding the Ecology of Urban Green Spaces for Biodiversity Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher A. Lepczyk; Myla F. J. Aronson; Karl L. Evans; Mark A. Goddard; Susannah B. Lerman; J. Scott MacIvor

    2017-01-01

    As urban areas expand, understanding how ecological processes function in cities has become increasingly important for conserving biodiversity. Urban green spaces are critical habitats to support biodiversity, but we still have a limited understanding of their ecology and how they function to conserve biodiversity at local and landscape scales across multiple taxa....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2012-10-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borza, Karen; Jamieson, Dale

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Blanchard, Julia L; Eklöf, Anna; Galiana, Nuria; Hartvig, Martin; R Hirt, Myriam; Kalinkat, Gregor; Nordström, Marie C; O'Gorman, Eoin J; Rall, Björn C; Schneider, Florian D; Thébault, Elisa; Jacob, Ute

    2017-05-01

    Understanding the consequences of species loss in complex ecological communities is one of the great challenges in current biodiversity research. For a long time, this topic has been addressed by traditional biodiversity experiments. Most of these approaches treat species as trait-free, taxonomic units characterizing communities only by species number without accounting for species traits. However, extinctions do not occur at random as there is a clear correlation between extinction risk and species traits. In this review, we assume that large species will be most threatened by extinction and use novel allometric and size-spectrum concepts that include body mass as a primary species trait at the levels of populations and individuals, respectively, to re-assess three classic debates on the relationships between biodiversity and (i) food-web structural complexity, (ii) community dynamic stability, and (iii) ecosystem functioning. Contrasting current expectations, size-structured approaches suggest that the loss of large species, that typically exploit most resource species, may lead to future food webs that are less interwoven and more structured by chains of interactions and compartments. The disruption of natural body-mass distributions maintaining food-web stability may trigger avalanches of secondary extinctions and strong trophic cascades with expected knock-on effects on the functionality of the ecosystems. Therefore, we argue that it is crucial to take into account body size as a species trait when analysing the consequences of biodiversity loss for natural ecosystems. Applying size-structured approaches provides an integrative ecological concept that enables a better understanding of each species' unique role across communities and the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dellas, E.; Pattberg, P.H.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, Thomas W R; Lenton, Timothy M

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  2. Palm Oil in Myanmar: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Effects of Industrial Farming on Biodiversity Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas, Khristopher; Fanzo, Jessica; MacManus, Kytt

    2018-03-21

    Palm oil consumption is potentially deleterious to human health, and its production has resulted in 11 million hectares of deforestation globally. Importing roughly 394,000 metric tons of palm oil in 2012 alone, the Burmese government has recently pushed for intensive oil palm development to sate domestic demand for consumption and become international market players. Given well-studied linkages between biodiversity loss and ecosystem instability, this study aims to characterize the nature of deforestation for oil palm production in Myanmar, its relationship to increased biodiversity loss, and contextualize the potential impacts of this loss on diets and human health in rural Myanmar. First, a GIS land suitability analysis overlaying spatial data on rainfall, elevation, and slope was conducted in order to identify areas of Myanmar best suited to oil palm tree growth. Second, after narrowing the geographic range, vegetation indices using varying spectral band models in ENVI (Environment for Visualizing Images) allowed a more granular examination of changes in vegetation phenology from 1975 to 2015. Lastly, ground truthing permitted an in-person verification of GIS and ENVI results and provided contextual understanding of oil palm development in Myanmar. GIS analysis revealed that the Tanintharyi Region, one of the most biodiverse regions in Myanmar, is highly suitable for oil palm growth. Next, vegetation indices revealed a progressive shift from smallholder farming, with little observable deforestation between 1975 and 1990, to industrial oil palm plantations all throughout Tanintharyi starting around 2000-a shift concomitant with biodiversity loss of primary forestland. Ground truthing indicated that plantation development has advanced rapidly, though not without barriers to growth. If these trends of Burmese oil palm intensification continue, 4 key outcomes may follow: (1) even higher levels of biodiversity loss, (2) increased access and affordability of edible

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.; Dessel, van B.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-17

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

  7. Flowering phenology shifts in response to biodiversity loss

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    ‘No net loss’ (NNL) policies involve quantifying biodiversity impacts associated with economic development, and implementing commensurate conservation gains to balance losses. Local stakeholders are often affected by NNL biodiversity trades. But to what extent are NNL principles intuitive...... to stakeholders when they are not experts? We surveyed 691 students with limited or no knowledge of NNL policy across three countries, eliciting perceptions of what constitutes sufficient ecological compensation for forest habitat losses from infrastructure development. NNL policies assume that biodiversity...... compensation should be: close to development impacts; greater than losses; smaller, given a background trend of biodiversity decline; and, smaller when gains have co-benefits for biodiversity. However, survey participant proposals violated all four principles. Participants proposed substantial forest...

  9. Ecological theories and indicators in economic models of biodiversity loss and conservation: a critical review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eppink, F.V.; van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    We evaluate how well environmental-economic models describe biodiversity loss and conservation issues. Four types of economic models turn out to dominate economic research into biodiversity conservation. For each of these, we assess the extent to which they integrate relevant ecological theories and

  10. Ecological Theories and Indicators in Economic Models of Biodiversity Loss and Conservation: A Critical Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eppink, F.V.; van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    We evaluate how well environmental-economic models describe biodiversity loss and conservation issues. Four types of economic models turn out to dominate economic research into biodiversity conservation. For each of these, we assess the extent to which they integrate relevant ecological theories and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Moldrup, Per; Arthur, Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    The impact of biodiversity loss on soil functions is well established via laboratory experiments that generally consider soil biota groups in isolation from each other, a condition rarely present in field soils. As a result, our knowledge about anthropogenic induced changes in biodiversity and as...

  14. What Lives Where & Why? Understanding Biodiversity through Geospatial Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trautmann, Nancy M.; Makinster, James G.; Batek, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Using an interactive map-based PDF, students learn key concepts related to biodiversity while developing data-analysis and critical-thinking skills. The Bird Island lesson provides students with experience in translating geospatial data into bar graphs, then interpreting these graphs to compare biodiversity across ecoregions on a fictional island.…

  15. Looking beyond superficial knowledge gaps: understanding public representations of biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijs, A.E.; Fischer, A.; Rink, D.; Young, J.C.

    2008-01-01

    Lack of public support for, and protest against, biodiversity management measures have often been explained by the apparently inadequate knowledge of biodiversity in the general public. In stark contrast to this assumption of public ignorance, our results from focus group discussions in The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-15

    Urbanisation of the coastal zone represents a key threat to marine biodiversity, including rocky reef communities which often possess disproportionate ecological, recreational and commercial importance. The nature and magnitude of local urban impacts on reef biodiversity near three Australian capital cities were quantified using visual census methods. The most impacted reefs in urbanised embayments were consistently characterised by smaller, faster growing species, reduced fish biomass and richness, and reduced mobile invertebrate abundance and richness. Reef faunal distribution varied significantly with heavy metals, local population density, and proximity to city ports, while native fish and invertebrate communities were most depauperate in locations where invasive species were abundant. Our study adds impetus for improved urban planning and pollution management practises, while also highlighting the potential for skilled volunteers to improve the tracking of changes in marine biodiversity values and the effectiveness of management intervention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: Ecosystems are under increasing pressure from human activities, with land use and land use change at the forefront of the drivers that provoke global and regional biodiversity loss. The first step in addressing the challenge of how to reverse the negative outlook for the coming years starts with measuring environmental loss rates and assigning responsibilities. Pinpointing the global pressures on biodiversity is a task best addressed using holistic models such as Life Cycle Assessme...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. Understanding how biodiversity unfolds through time under neutral theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Missa, Olivier; Dytham, Calvin; Morlon, Hélène

    2016-04-05

    Theoretical predictions for biodiversity patterns are typically derived under the assumption that ecological systems have reached a dynamic equilibrium. Yet, there is increasing evidence that various aspects of ecological systems, including (but not limited to) species richness, are not at equilibrium. Here, we use simulations to analyse how biodiversity patterns unfold through time. In particular, we focus on the relative time required for various biodiversity patterns (macroecological or phylogenetic) to reach equilibrium. We simulate spatially explicit metacommunities according to the Neutral Theory of Biodiversity (NTB) under three modes of speciation, which differ in how evenly a parent species is split between its two daughter species. We find that species richness stabilizes first, followed by species area relationships (SAR) and finally species abundance distributions (SAD). The difference in timing of equilibrium between these different macroecological patterns is the largest when the split of individuals between sibling species at speciation is the most uneven. Phylogenetic patterns of biodiversity take even longer to stabilize (tens to hundreds of times longer than species richness) so that equilibrium predictions from neutral theory for these patterns are unlikely to be relevant. Our results suggest that it may be unwise to assume that biodiversity patterns are at equilibrium and provide a first step in studying how these patterns unfold through time. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, S.; Le Roux, X.; Niklaus, P.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Lennon, J.T.; Bertilsson, S.A.; Grossart, H.P.; Philippot, L.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity

  2. Urbanization, habitat loss, biodiversity decline:  solution pathways to break the cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Elmqvist; Wayne Zipperer; Burak  Güneralp

    2016-01-01

    The interactions between urbanization with biodiversity and ecosystem services that take place defy simple generalizations. There is increasing evidence for the negative impacts of urbanization on biodiversity, most directly in the form of habitat loss and fragmentation. Recent forecasts suggest that the amount of urban land near protected areas is expected to increase...

  3. FORUM: Indirect leakage leads to a failure of avoided loss biodiversity offsetting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moilanen, Atte; Laitila, Jussi

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity offsetting has quickly gained political support all around the world. Avoided loss (averted risk) offsetting means compensation for ecological damage via averted loss of anticipated impacts through the removal of threatening processes in compensation areas.Leakage means the phenomenon of environmentally damaging activity relocating elsewhere after being stopped locally by avoided loss offsetting. Indirect leakage means that locally avoided losses displace to other administrative areas or spread around diffusely via market effects. Synthesis and applications . Indirect leakage can lead to high net biodiversity loss. It is difficult to measure or prevent, raising doubts about the value of avoided loss offsetting. Market demand for commodities is on the rise, following increasing human population size and per capita consumption, implying that indirect leakage will be a rule rather than an exception. Leakage should be accounted for when determining offset multipliers (ratios) even if multipliers become extremely high.

  4. Estimating local biodiversity change: a critique of papers claiming no net loss of local diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Andrew; Cardinale, Bradley J; Allington, Ginger R H; Byrnes, Jarrett; Arthur Endsley, K; Brown, Daniel G; Hooper, David U; Isbell, Forest; O'Connor, Mary I; Loreau, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Global species extinction rates are orders of magnitude above the background rate documented in the fossil record. However, recent data syntheses have found mixed evidence for patterns of net species loss at local spatial scales. For example, two recent data meta-analyses have found that species richness is decreasing in some locations and is increasing in others. When these trends are combined, these papers argued there has been no net change in species richness, and suggested this pattern is globally representative of biodiversity change at local scales. Here we reanalyze results of these data syntheses and outline why this conclusion is unfounded. First, we show the datasets collated for these syntheses are spatially biased and not representative of the spatial distribution of species richness or the distribution of many primary drivers of biodiversity change. This casts doubt that their results are representative of global patterns. Second, we argue that detecting the trend in local species richness is very difficult with short time series and can lead to biased estimates of change. Reanalyses of the data detected a signal of study duration on biodiversity change, indicating net biodiversity loss is most apparent in studies of longer duration. Third, estimates of species richness change can be biased if species gains during post-disturbance recovery are included without also including species losses that occurred during the disturbance. Net species gains or losses should be assessed with respect to common baselines or reference communities. Ultimately, we need a globally coordinated effort to monitor biodiversity so that we can estimate and attribute human impacts as causes of biodiversity change. A combination of technologies will be needed to produce regularly updated global datasets of local biodiversity change to guide future policy. At this time the conclusion that there is no net change in local species richness is not the consensus state of knowledge.

  5. UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING BIODIVERSITY IN RELATION TO NATIVE CRAYFISH POPULATIONS IN EUROPE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GHERARDI F.

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available The loss or diminution of European crayfish populations because of both habitat deterioration and competition with alien crayfish – also responsible for the dissemination of the crayfish plague – would reduce the biodiversity at the species level. The topic “What is meant by biodiversity?” in the context of native freshwater crayfish in Europe was discussed during the Kilkenny CRAYNET meeting in order to make the point about the varied meanings of biodiversity from genes and individuals to population levels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Din Badariah

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystems are under increasing pressure from human activities, with land use and land-use change at the forefront of the drivers that provoke global and regional biodiversity loss. The first step in addressing the challenge of how to reverse the negative outlook for the coming years starts with measuring environmental loss rates and assigning responsibilities. Pinpointing the global pressures on biodiversity is a task best addressed using holistic models such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is the leading method for calculating cradle-to-grave environmental impacts of products and services; it is actively promoted by many public policies, and integrated as part of environmental information systems within private companies. LCA already deals with the potential biodiversity impacts of land use, but there are significant obstacles to overcome before its models grasp the full reach of the phenomena involved. In this review, we discuss some pressing issues that need to be addressed. LCA mainly introduces biodiversity as an endpoint category modeled as a loss in species richness due to the conversion and use of land over time and space. The functional and population effects on biodiversity are mostly absent due to the emphasis on species accumulation with limited geographic and taxonomical reach. Current land-use modeling activities that use biodiversity indicators tend to oversimplify the real dynamics and complexity of the interactions of species among each other and with their habitats. To identify the main areas for improvement, we systematically reviewed LCA studies on land use that had findings related to global change and conservation ecology. We provide suggestion as to how to address some of the issues raised. Our overall objective was to encourage companies to monitor and take concrete steps to address the impacts of land use on biodiversity on a broader geographical scale and along increasingly globalized supply chains. © 2014 The Authors. Global Change

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Effects of native biodiversity on grape loss of four castes: testing the biotic resistance hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Nereu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Management of agricultural landscapes can influence the biodiversity and the ecological services provided by these ecosystems, such as natural biological pest control. Viticulture is a very important economic activity in most countries with Mediterranean climate, often shaping their landscapes and culture. Grape production is affected by a number of pests and diseases, and farmers use prophylactic and response-driven pesticides to control these pests. Here we quantified the main biotic causes of crop losses in four grape castes, two red (Touriga Nacional and Baga and two white (Arinto and Chardonnay, and evaluated the potential effect of native biodiversity to provide biotic resistance to pest outbreaks and grape losses. Specifically, the diversity and abundance of bird and insect communities in these vineyards were quantified and divided into functional guilds (pest, neutral or auxiliary, to test whether these natural communities hold the potential to naturally control grape pests (biotic resistance hypothesis under normal vineyard management (including pesticide application regimes. A potential association between distance to the vineyard edge and grape losses was also evaluated. We recorded a very small proportion of grape losses (mean  =  0.6 %; max  =  7.5 %, with insect pests showing a preference for the castes Baga (red and Chardonnay (white, while bird pests avoided the caste Arinto (white. Grape color did not influence losses caused by insect pests, but birds showed a preference for red castes. The caste Baga was also more vulnerable to losses caused by fungi. Despite their low impact on grape production, most insects and birds detected in the six vineyards were pests, which entails a potentially low level of biotic resistance in this highly managed agricultural ecosystem. Further research is necessary to fully evaluate the role of functional biodiversity in vineyards, particularly if alternative production processes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We also introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land-use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands. © 2015 The Authors Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  15. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-08

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

  16. Understanding and protecting the world's biodiversity: the role and legacy of the SCAR programme "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic".

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Prisco, Guido; Convey, Peter; Gutt, Julian; Cowan, Don; Conlan, Kathleen; Verde, Cinzia

    2012-12-01

    Current global changes are prompting scientists and governments to consider the risk of extinction of species inhabiting environments influenced by ice. Concerted, multidisciplinary, international programmes aimed at understanding life processes, evolution and adaptations in the Polar Regions will help to counteract such an event by protecting polar life and ecosystems. There is a long tradition of international scientific cooperation in Antarctica that provides a strong foundation for such approaches. While basic understanding is emerging, we still largely lack predictive biological models, and need to achieve further integration amongst biological and non-biological disciplines. The ongoing SCAR Science Research Programme, "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic (EBA)" has successfully carried out its crucial role of providing an overarching umbrella for SCAR research in Life Sciences. Now is the time for aiming to progress beyond this important role, and the Antarctic biology community is proposing two programmes, focussed on distinct but complementary aspects of polar biology and working across marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments: "State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco)", and "Antarctic Thresholds--Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA)". These programmes are the legacy of EBA, and they are key to understanding and protect Antarctic biodiversity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Recent Stirling engine loss - understanding results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tew, R.C.; Thieme, L.G.; Dudenhoefer, J.E.

    1994-01-01

    For several years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other US Government agencies have been funding experimental and analytical efforts to improve the understanding of Stirling thermodynamic losses. NASA's objective is to improve Stirling engine design capability to support the development of new engines for space power. An overview of these efforts was last given at the 1988 IECEC. Recent results of this research are reviewed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-23

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

  19. The transition from No Net Loss to a Net Gain of biodiversity is far from trivial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Joseph William; Brownlie, S.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally J Holbrook

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Mark A; Chapman, M Gee

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  5. Parks versus payments: reconciling divergent policy responses to biodiversity loss and climate change from tropical deforestation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busch, Jonah; Grantham, Hedley S

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity loss and climate change both result from tropical deforestation, yet strategies to address biodiversity loss have focused primarily on protected areas while strategies to address climate change have focused primarily on carbon payments. Conservation planning research has focused largely on where to prioritize protected areas to achieve the greatest representation of species at viable levels. Meanwhile research on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has focused largely on how to design payments to achieve the greatest additional reduction in greenhouse gases relative to baseline rates. This divergence of strategies and research agendas may be attributed to four factors: rare species are more heterogeneously distributed than carbon; species are more difficult to measure and monitor than carbon; species are more sensitive to ecological processes and human disturbance than carbon; and people’s value for species diminishes beyond a threshold while their value for carbon storage does not. Conservation planning can achieve greater biodiversity benefits by adopting the concept of additionality from REDD+. REDD+ can achieve greater climate benefits by incorporating spatial prioritization from conservation planning. Climate and biodiversity benefits can best be jointly achieved from tropical forests by targeting the most additional actions to the most important places. These concepts are illustrated using data from the forests of Indonesia. (letter)

  6. Parks versus payments: reconciling divergent policy responses to biodiversity loss and climate change from tropical deforestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Jonah; Grantham, Hedley S.

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity loss and climate change both result from tropical deforestation, yet strategies to address biodiversity loss have focused primarily on protected areas while strategies to address climate change have focused primarily on carbon payments. Conservation planning research has focused largely on where to prioritize protected areas to achieve the greatest representation of species at viable levels. Meanwhile research on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has focused largely on how to design payments to achieve the greatest additional reduction in greenhouse gases relative to baseline rates. This divergence of strategies and research agendas may be attributed to four factors: rare species are more heterogeneously distributed than carbon; species are more difficult to measure and monitor than carbon; species are more sensitive to ecological processes and human disturbance than carbon; and people’s value for species diminishes beyond a threshold while their value for carbon storage does not. Conservation planning can achieve greater biodiversity benefits by adopting the concept of additionality from REDD+. REDD+ can achieve greater climate benefits by incorporating spatial prioritization from conservation planning. Climate and biodiversity benefits can best be jointly achieved from tropical forests by targeting the most additional actions to the most important places. These concepts are illustrated using data from the forests of Indonesia.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Lutz

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

  8. Understanding local-scale drivers of biodiversity outcomes in terrestrial protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Megan D; Craigie, Ian D; Dudley, Nigel; Hockings, Marc

    2017-07-01

    Conservation relies heavily on protected areas (PAs) maintaining their key biodiversity features to meet global biodiversity conservation goals. However, PAs have had variable success, with many failing to fully maintain their biodiversity features. The current literature concerning what drives variability in PA performance is rapidly expanding but unclear, sometimes contradictory, and spread across multiple disciplines. A clear understanding of the drivers of successful biodiversity conservation in PAs is necessary to make them fully effective. Here, we conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of knowledge concerning the drivers of biological outcomes within PAs, focusing on those that can be addressed at local scales. We evaluate evidence in support of potential drivers to identify those that enable more successful outcomes and those that impede success and provide a synthetic review. Interactions are discussed where they are known, and we highlight gaps in understanding. We find that elements of PA design, management, and local and national governance challenges, species and system ecology, and sociopolitical context can all influence outcomes. Adjusting PA management to focus on actions and policies that influence the key drivers identified here could improve global biodiversity outcomes. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. Predicting plant diversity patterns in Madagascar: understanding the effects of climate and land cover change in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry A Brown

    Full Text Available Climate and land cover change are driving a major reorganization of terrestrial biotic communities in tropical ecosystems. In an effort to understand how biodiversity patterns in the tropics will respond to individual and combined effects of these two drivers of environmental change, we use species distribution models (SDMs calibrated for recent climate and land cover variables and projected to future scenarios to predict changes in diversity patterns in Madagascar. We collected occurrence records for 828 plant genera and 2186 plant species. We developed three scenarios, (i.e., climate only, land cover only and combined climate-land cover based on recent and future climate and land cover variables. We used this modelling framework to investigate how the impacts of changes to climate and land cover influenced biodiversity across ecoregions and elevation bands. There were large-scale climate- and land cover-driven changes in plant biodiversity across Madagascar, including both losses and gains in diversity. The sharpest declines in biodiversity were projected for the eastern escarpment and high elevation ecosystems. Sharp declines in diversity were driven by the combined climate-land cover scenarios; however, there were subtle, region-specific differences in model outputs for each scenario, where certain regions experienced relatively higher species loss under climate or land cover only models. We strongly caution that predicted future gains in plant diversity will depend on the development and maintenance of dispersal pathways that connect current and future suitable habitats. The forecast for Madagascar's plant diversity in the face of future environmental change is worrying: regional diversity will continue to decrease in response to the combined effects of climate and land cover change, with habitats such as ericoid thickets and eastern lowland and sub-humid forests particularly vulnerable into the future.

  10. Predicting plant diversity patterns in Madagascar: understanding the effects of climate and land cover change in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kerry A; Parks, Katherine E; Bethell, Colin A; Johnson, Steig E; Mulligan, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Climate and land cover change are driving a major reorganization of terrestrial biotic communities in tropical ecosystems. In an effort to understand how biodiversity patterns in the tropics will respond to individual and combined effects of these two drivers of environmental change, we use species distribution models (SDMs) calibrated for recent climate and land cover variables and projected to future scenarios to predict changes in diversity patterns in Madagascar. We collected occurrence records for 828 plant genera and 2186 plant species. We developed three scenarios, (i.e., climate only, land cover only and combined climate-land cover) based on recent and future climate and land cover variables. We used this modelling framework to investigate how the impacts of changes to climate and land cover influenced biodiversity across ecoregions and elevation bands. There were large-scale climate- and land cover-driven changes in plant biodiversity across Madagascar, including both losses and gains in diversity. The sharpest declines in biodiversity were projected for the eastern escarpment and high elevation ecosystems. Sharp declines in diversity were driven by the combined climate-land cover scenarios; however, there were subtle, region-specific differences in model outputs for each scenario, where certain regions experienced relatively higher species loss under climate or land cover only models. We strongly caution that predicted future gains in plant diversity will depend on the development and maintenance of dispersal pathways that connect current and future suitable habitats. The forecast for Madagascar's plant diversity in the face of future environmental change is worrying: regional diversity will continue to decrease in response to the combined effects of climate and land cover change, with habitats such as ericoid thickets and eastern lowland and sub-humid forests particularly vulnerable into the future.

  11. System Behaviour Charts Inform an Understanding of Biodiversity Recovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A. Black

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Practitioners working with species and ecosystem recovery typically deal with the complexity of, on one hand, lack of data or data uncertainties and, on the other hand, demand for critical decision-making and intervention. The control chart methods of commercial and industrial and environmental monitoring can complement an ecological understanding of wildlife systems including those situations which incorporate human activities and land use. Systems Behaviour Charts are based upon well-established control chart methods to provide conservation managers with an approach to using existing data and enable insight to aid timely planning of conservation interventions and also complement and stimulate research into wider scientific and ecological questions. When the approach is applied to existing data sets in well-known wildlife conservation cases, the subsequent Systems Behaviour Charts and associated analytical criteria demonstrate insights which would be helpful in averting problems associated with each case example.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eg Nielsen, Einar; Bekkevold, Dorte

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Combining marine macroecology and palaeoecology in understanding biodiversity: microfossils as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Tittensor, Derek P; Hillebrand, Helmut; Worm, Boris

    2017-02-01

    There is growing interest in the integration of macroecology and palaeoecology towards a better understanding of past, present, and anticipated future biodiversity dynamics. However, the empirical basis for this integration has thus far been limited. Here we review prospects for a macroecology-palaeoecology integration in biodiversity analyses with a focus on marine microfossils [i.e. small (or small parts of) organisms with high fossilization potential, such as foraminifera, ostracodes, diatoms, radiolaria, coccolithophores, dinoflagellates, and ichthyoliths]. Marine microfossils represent a useful model system for such integrative research because of their high abundance, large spatiotemporal coverage, and good taxonomic and temporal resolution. The microfossil record allows for quantitative cross-scale research designs, which help in answering fundamental questions about marine biodiversity, including the causes behind similarities in patterns of latitudinal and longitudinal variation across taxa, the degree of constancy of observed gradients over time, and the relative importance of hypothesized drivers that may explain past or present biodiversity patterns. The inclusion of a deep-time perspective based on high-resolution microfossil records may be an important step for the further maturation of macroecology. An improved integration of macroecology and palaeoecology would aid in our understanding of the balance of ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that have shaped the biosphere we inhabit today and affect how it may change in the future. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-06

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bie, de S.; Schaick, van J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candelaria Estavillo

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Davies

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Understanding Memory Loss | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... of this page please turn Javascript on. Feature: Memory & Forgetfulness Understanding Memory Loss Past Issues / Summer 2013 Table of Contents ... weeks at a time. Some Treatable Causes of Memory Loss As we age, our bodies change, including ...

  3. Species Interactions Drive Fish Biodiversity Loss in a High-CO2 World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Goldenberg, Silvan U; Ferreira, Camilo M; Russell, Bayden D; Connell, Sean D

    2017-07-24

    Accelerating climate change is eroding the functioning and stability of ecosystems by weakening the interactions among species that stabilize biological communities against change [1]. A key challenge to forecasting the future of ecosystems centers on how to extrapolate results from short-term, single-species studies to community-level responses that are mediated by key mechanisms such as competition, resource availability (bottom-up control), and predation (top-down control) [2]. We used CO 2 vents as potential analogs of ocean acidification combined with in situ experiments to test current predictions of fish biodiversity loss and community change due to elevated CO 2 [3] and to elucidate the potential mechanisms that drive such change. We show that high risk-taking behavior and competitive strength, combined with resource enrichment and collapse of predator populations, fostered already common species, enabling them to double their populations under acidified conditions. However, the release of these competitive dominants from predator control led to suppression of less common and subordinate competitors that did not benefit from resource enrichment and reduced predation. As a result, local biodiversity was lost and novel fish community compositions were created under elevated CO 2 . Our study identifies the species interactions most affected by ocean acidification, revealing potential sources of natural selection. We also reveal how diminished predator abundances can have cascading effects on local species diversity, mediated by complex species interactions. Reduced overfishing of predators could therefore act as a key action to stall diversity loss and ecosystem change in a high-CO 2 world. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A; Van Bodegom, Peter M; Lennon, Jay T; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  5. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eKrause

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  6. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Schoukens

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Einar E; Bekkevold, Dorte

    2012-04-01

    Few species worldwide have attracted as much attention in relation to conservation and sustainable management as Pacific salmon. Most populations have suffered significant reductions, many have disappeared, and even entire evolutionary significant units (ESUs) are believed to have been lost. Until now, no 'smoking gun' in terms of direct genetic evidence of the loss of a salmon ESU has been produced. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Iwamoto et al. (2012) use microsatellite analysis of historical scale samples of Columbia River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from 1924 (Fig. 1) to ask the pertinent question: Do the historical samples contain salmon from extirpated populations or ESUs? They identified four genetic groups in the historical samples of which two were almost genetically identical to contemporary ESUs in the river, one showed genetic relationship with a third ESU, but one group was not related to any of the contemporary populations. In association with ecological data, the genetic results suggest that an early migrating Columbia River headwater sockeye salmon ESU has been extirpated. The study has significant importance for conservation and reestablishment of sockeye populations in the Columbia River, but also underpins the general significance of shifting baselines in conservation biology, and how to assess loss of genetic biodiversity. The results clearly illustrate the huge and versatile potential of using historical DNA in population and conservation genetics. Because of the extraordinarily plentiful historical samples and rapid advances in fish genomics, fishes are likely to spearhead future studies of temporal ecological and population genomics in non-model organisms. [Figure: see text]. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overton, Jacob McC; Stephens, R T Theo; Ferrier, Simon

    2013-02-01

    There is an urgent need to develop sound theory and practice for biodiversity offsets to provide a better basis for offset multipliers, to improve accounting for time delays in offset repayments, and to develop a common framework for evaluating in-kind and out-of-kind offsets. Here, we apply concepts and measures from systematic conservation planning and financial accounting to provide a basis for determining equity across type (of biodiversity), space, and time. We introduce net present biodiversity value (NPBV) as a theoretical and practical measure for defining the offset required to achieve no-net-loss. For evaluating equity in type and space we use measures of biodiversity value from systematic conservation planning. Time discount rates are used to address risk of non-repayment, and loss of utility. We illustrate these concepts and measures with two examples of biodiversity impact-offset transactions. Considerable further work is required to understand the characteristics of these approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. LifeWatch - a Large-scale eScience Infrastructure to Assist in Understanding and Managing our Planet's Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Ernst, Vera; Poigné, Axel; Los, Walter

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and managing the complexity of the biodiversity system in relation to global changes concerning land use and climate change with their social and economic implications is crucial to mitigate species loss and biodiversity changes in general. The sustainable development and exploitation of existing biodiversity resources require flexible and powerful infrastructures offering, on the one hand, the access to large-scale databases of observations and measures, to advanced analytical and modelling software, and to high performance computing environments and, on the other hand, the interlinkage of European scientific communities among each others and with national policies. The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) selected the "LifeWatch e-science and technology infrastructure for biodiversity research" as a promising development to construct facilities to contribute to meet those challenges. LifeWatch collaborates with other selected initiatives (e.g. ICOS, ANAEE, NOHA, and LTER-Europa) to achieve the integration of the infrastructures at landscape and regional scales. This should result in a cooperating cluster of such infrastructures supporting an integrated approach for data capture and transmission, data management and harmonisation. Besides, facilities for exploration, forecasting, and presentation using heterogeneous and distributed data and tools should allow the interdisciplinary scientific research at any spatial and temporal scale. LifeWatch is an example of a new generation of interoperable research infrastructures based on standards and a service-oriented architecture that allow for linkage with external resources and associated infrastructures. External data sources will be established data aggregators as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) for species occurrences and other EU Networks of Excellence like the Long-Term Ecological Research Network (LTER), GMES, and GEOSS for terrestrial monitoring, the

  15. Beyond 2010: Strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity: Conference report

    OpenAIRE

    Sier, A.R.J.; Monteith, D.; Brooks, S.

    2011-01-01

    Report of the conference Beyond 2010: strategies for understanding and responding to long-term trends in UK biodiversity, London, 16-17 November 2010. Includes summaries of the presentations and workshop discussion sessions, and an overview of key points arising from the conference.

  16. Recent Advances in Understanding Audiovestibular Loss of a Vascular Cause.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun-Ah; Lee, Hyung

    2017-01-01

    Acute audiovestibular loss is characterized by abrupt onset of prolonged (lasting days) vertigo and hearing loss. Acute ischemic stroke in the distribution of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) is known to be the leading cause of acute audiovestibular loss. So far, eight subgroups of AICA territory infarction have been identified according to the patterns of audiovestibular dysfunctions, among which the most common pattern is the combined loss of auditory and vestibular functions. Unlike inner ear dysfunction of a viral cause, which can commonly present as an isolated vestibular (i.e., vestibular neuritis) or cochlear loss (i.e., sudden deafness), labyrinthine dysfunction of a vascular cause rarely results in isolated loss of vestibular or auditory function. As audiovestibular loss may precede the central symptoms or signs of an ischemic stroke in the posterior circulation, early diagnosis and proper management of audiovestiubular loss may provide a window to prevent the progression of infarction to larger areas of the posterior circulation. A clinician should consider the possibility that acute audiovestibular loss may herald impending AICA territory infarction, especially when patients have basilar artery occlusive disease close to the origin of the AICA on brain MRA. This review aims to highlight the recent advances in understanding audiovestibular loss of a vascular cause and to address its clinical significance.

  17. A Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON): Understanding Marine Life and its Role in Maintaining Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Karger, F. E.; Iken, K.; Miller, R. J.; Duffy, J. E.; Chavez, F.; Montes, E.

    2016-02-01

    The U.S. Federal government (NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and the Smithsonian Institution), academic researchers, and private partners are laying the foundation for a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The goals of the network are to: 1) Observe and understand life, from microbes to whales, in different coastal and continental shelf habitats; 2) Define an efficient set of observations required for implementing a useful MBON; 3) Develop technology for biodiversity assessments including emerging environmental DNA (eDNA), remote sensing, and image analysis methods to coordinate with classical sampling; 4) Integrate and synthesize information in coordination with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), the international Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network(GEO BON), and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) sponsored by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); and 5) Understand the linkages between marine biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and the social-economic context of a region. Pilot projects have been implemented within three NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries (Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands), the wider Santa Barbara Channel, in the Chukchi Sea, and through the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) at several sites in the U.S. and collaborating countries. Together, these MBON sites encompass a wide range of marine environments, including deep sea, continental shelves, and coastal habitats including estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs. The present MBON partners are open to growth of the MBON through additional collaborations. Given these initiatives, GEO BON is proposing an MBON effort that spans from pole to pole, with a pathfinder effort among countries in the Americas. By specializing in coastal ecosystems—where marine biodiversity and people are concentrated and interact most—the MBON and TMON initiatives aim to provide policymakers with the science to

  18. The endangered Florida pondweed (Potamogeton floridanus) is a hybrid: Why we need to understand biodiversity thoroughly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Zdeněk; Fehrer, Judith; Bambasová, Veronika; Hellquist, C Barre

    2018-01-01

    Thorough understanding of biodiversity is a fundamental prerequisite for biological research. A lack of taxonomic knowledge and species misidentifications are particularly critical for conservation. Here we present an example of Potamogeton floridanus, the Florida Pondweed, an endangered taxon endemic to a small area in the Florida panhandle, whose taxonomic status remained controversial for more than a century, and all previous attempts to elucidate its identity have failed. We applied molecular approaches to tackle the origin of the mysterious taxon and supplemented them with morphological and anatomical investigations of both historical herbarium collections and plants recently collected in the type area for a comprehensive taxonomic reassessment. Sequencing of two nuclear ribosomal markers and one chloroplast non-coding spacer resulted in the surprising discovery that P. floridanus is a hybrid of P. pulcher and P. oakesianus, with the former being the maternal parent. The hybrid colony is currently geographically isolated from the distribution range of P. oakesianus. We show that previous molecular analyses have failed to reveal its hybrid identity due to inadequate nuclear DNA sequence editing. This is an example how the uncritical use of automized sequence reads can hamper molecular species identifications and also affect phylogenetic tree construction and interpretation. This unique hybrid taxon, P. ×floridanus, adds another case study to the debate on hybrid protection; consequences for its conservation are discussed.

  19. Carbon and biodiversity loss due to forest degradation – a Cambodian case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nophea Sasaki; Kimsun Chheng; Nobuya Mizoue

    2013-01-01

    Tropical forests are diverse in terms of stand and age structures, commercial and biodiversity values of individually trees, and dependency of local communities. Monitoring forest degradation in the tropics remains a challenge despite increasing global interests in reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and safeguarding...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove-Fanning, William

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Understanding farmers' strategic decision-making processes and the implications for biodiversity conservation policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmar-Bowers, Quentin; Lane, Ruth

    2009-02-01

    The conservation of biodiversity is an important issue world wide and in Australia the maintenance of native biodiversity on farms makes an important contribution to overall conservation objectives. This paper seeks to explain Australian farmers' rationale for maintaining biodiversity on their farms for personal as opposed to business reasons by developing a decision-systems theory from in-depth interviews. This difference has implications for policy development. The decision-systems theory is divided into two main sections. The first section contains five parts. (1) A hierarchy of motivation stories, (2) the concept of suitability and availability of opportunities, (3) a hierarchy of three decision-systems, (4) the concept of personal career paths, (5) the concept of Lenses. The second section contains one part, a policy classification system called 'boxes of influence' that suggests how policy developers can use the information in the first section to develop new biodiversity conservation policy. The paper suggests that decision-systems theory could be used to shed new light on current trends in agriculture and become an important investigative tool for policy development concerning the conservation of biodiversity on farms.

  3. The quest for a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem services relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Clare; Thompson, Julian R; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2015-10-22

    Ecosystem services (ES) approaches to biodiversity conservation are currently high on the ecological research and policy agendas. However, despite a wealth of studies into biodiversity's role in maintaining ES (B-ES relationships) across landscapes, we still lack generalities in the nature and strengths of these linkages. Reasons for this are manifold, but can largely be attributed to (i) a lack of adherence to definitions and thus a confusion between final ES and the ecosystem functions (EFs) underpinning them, (ii) a focus on uninformative biodiversity indices and singular hypotheses and (iii) top-down analyses across large spatial scales and overlooking of context-dependency. The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) field provides an alternate context for examining biodiversity's mechanistic role in shaping ES, focusing on species' characteristics that may drive EFs via multiple mechanisms across contexts. Despite acknowledgements of a need for B-ES research to look towards underlying B-EF linkages, the connections between these areas of research remains weak. With this review, we pull together recent B-EF findings to identify key areas for future developments in B-ES research. We highlight a means by which B-ES research may begin to identify how and when multiple underlying B-EF relationships may scale to final ES delivery and trade-offs. © 2015 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Predicting Plant Diversity Patterns in Madagascar: Understanding the Effects of Climate and Land Cover Change in a Biodiversity Hotspot

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Kerry A.; Parks, Katherine E.; Bethell, Colin A.; Johnson, Steig E.; Mulligan, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Climate and land cover change are driving a major reorganization of terrestrial biotic communities in tropical ecosystems. In an effort to understand how biodiversity patterns in the tropics will respond to individual and combined effects of these two drivers of environmental change, we use species distribution models (SDMs) calibrated for recent climate and land cover variables and projected to future scenarios to predict changes in diversity patterns in Madagascar. We collected occurrence r...

  6. Using Molecular-Assisted Alpha Taxonomy to Better Understand Red Algal Biodiversity in Bermuda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth N. Cianciola

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Molecular-assisted alpha taxonomy has recently become an effective practice in reassessing biodiversity and floristics for a variety of different organisms. This paper presents a series of examples that have been drawn from biodiversity work being carried out on the marine red algae of Bermuda. Molecular sequencing of DNA from Bermuda samples has already begun to greatly alter the makeup of the flora as it was known just decades ago, and will help set a new database for future comparison as climate change affects species composition in the islands.

  7. Effects of native biodiversity on grape loss of four castes: testing the biotic resistance hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    M. Nereu; M. Nereu; R. H. Heleno; F. Lopez-Núñez; M. Agostinho; J. A. Ramos

    2018-01-01

    Management of agricultural landscapes can influence the biodiversity and the ecological services provided by these ecosystems, such as natural biological pest control. Viticulture is a very important economic activity in most countries with Mediterranean climate, often shaping their landscapes and culture. Grape production is affected by a number of pests and diseases, and farmers use prophylactic and response-driven pesticides to control these pests. Here we quantified the ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil globally, with demand projected to increase substantially in the future. Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical moist forests, some of them quite recently. The conversion to date, and future expansion, threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions. Today, consumer pressure is pushing companies toward deforestation-free sources of palm oil. To guide interventions aimed at reducing tropical deforestation due to...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Biodiversity and globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Heal, Geoffrey

    2002-01-01

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

  12. Correcting the disconnect between phylogenetics and biodiversity informatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Joseph T; Jolley-Rogers, Garry

    2014-01-14

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

  13. Understanding fungal functional biodiversity during the mitigation of environmentally dispersed pentachlorophenol in cork oak forest soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Varela, Adelia; Martins, Celso; Nunez, Oscar; Martins, Isabel; Houbraken, Jos A. M. P.; Martins, Tiago M.; Leitao, M. Cristina; McLellan, Iain; Vetter, Walter; Galceran, M. Teresa; Samson, Robert A.; Hursthouse, Andrew; Pereira, Cristina Silva

    Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is globally dispersed and contamination of soil with this biocide adversely affects its functional biodiversity, particularly of fungi – key colonizers. Their functional role as a community is poorly understood, although a few pathways have been already elucidated in pure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Toward an integrated understanding of perceived biodiversity values and environmental conditions in a national park

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Riper, Carena J.; Kyle, Gerard T.; Sherrouse, Ben C.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Sutton, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    In spatial planning and management of protected areas, increased priority is being given to research that integrates social and ecological data. However, public viewpoints of the benefits provided by ecosystems are not easily quantified and often implicitly folded into natural resource management decisions. Drawing on a spatially explicit participatory mapping exercise and a Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) analysis tool, the present study empirically examined and integrated social values for ecosystem services and environmental conditions within Channel Islands National Park, California. Specifically, a social value indicator of perceived biodiversity was examined using on-site survey data collected from a sample of people who visited the park. This information was modeled alongside eight environmental conditions including faunal species richness for six taxa, vegetation density, categories of marine and terrestrial land cover, and distance to features relevant for decision-makers. Results showed that biodiversity value points assigned to places by the pooled sample of respondents were widely and unevenly mapped, which reflected the belief that biodiversity was embodied to varying degrees by multiple locations in the park. Models generated for two survey subgroups defined by their self-reported knowledge of the Channels Islands revealed distinct spatial patterns of these perceived values. Specifically, respondents with high knowledge valued large spaces that were publicly inaccessible and unlikely to contain on-ground biodiversity, whereas respondents with low knowledge valued places that were experienced first-hand. Accessibility and infrastructure were also important considerations for anticipating how and where people valued the protected land and seascapes of Channel Islands National Park.

  16. Changing Patterns of Emerging Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife, Domestic Animals, and Humans Linked to Biodiversity Loss and Globalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguirre, A Alonso

    2017-12-15

    The fundamental human threats to biodiversity including habitat destruction, globalization, and species loss have led to ecosystem disruptions altering infectious disease transmission patterns, the accumulation of toxic pollutants, and the invasion of alien species and pathogens. To top it all, the profound role of climate change on many ecological processes has affected the inability of many species to adapt to these relatively rapid changes. This special issue, "Zoonotic Disease Ecology: Effects on Humans, Domestic Animals and Wildlife," explores the complex interactions of emerging infectious diseases across taxa linked to many of these anthropogenic and environmental drivers. Selected emerging zoonoses including RNA viruses, Rift Valley fever, trypanosomiasis, Hanta virus infection, and other vector-borne diseases are discussed in detail. Also, coprophagous beetles are proposed as important vectors in the transmission and maintenance of infectious pathogens. An overview of the impacts of climate change in emerging disease ecology within the context of Brazil as a case study is provided. Animal Care and Use Committee requirements were investigated, concluding that ecology journals have low rates of explicit statements regarding the welfare and wellbing of wildlife during experimental studies. Most of the solutions to protect biodiversity and predicting and preventing the next epidemic in humans originating from wildlife are oriented towards the developed world and are less useful for biodiverse, low-income economies. We need the development of regional policies to address these issues at the local level. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Global Biodiversity Loss by Freshwater Consumption and Eutrophication from Swiss Food Consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Laura; Pfister, Stephan

    2016-07-05

    We investigated water-related resource use, emissions and ecosystem impacts of food consumed in Switzerland. To do so, we coupled LCA methodologies on freshwater consumption, freshwater eutrophication and the consequent local and global biodiversity impacts with Swiss customs data and multiregional input-output analysis. Most of the resource use, emissions and impacts occur outside the national boundaries which illustrates the extent of environmental outsourcing facilitated by international trade. Countries that are severely affected by Swiss food consumption include Spain, the United States and Ecuador. Cocoa, coffee, and almonds stood out as products with high impacts. By identifying spatial hotspots and impactful products, awareness of policy-makers as well as individual consumers can be raised and efforts of detailed assessments can be streamlined. However, political and economic constraints and the resistance by individual consumers limit the high potential of changes in diets and trade relations to decrease the environmental impacts of food.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-02

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholas A.J. Graham; Vanessa Messmer; Morgan S. Pratchett; Andrew S. Hoey; Shaun K. Wilson

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, María C.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galil, B.S.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannar-Martin, Katherine H; Kremer, Colin T; Ernest, S K Morgan; Leibold, Mathew A; Auge, Harald; Chase, Jonathan; Declerck, Steven A J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Isbell, Forest; Koffel, Thomas; Larsen, Stefano; Narwani, Anita; Petermann, Jana S; Roscher, Christiane; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Supp, Sarah R

    2018-02-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. We synthesise the BEF and CAFE perspectives using an ecological application of the Price equation, which partitions the contributions of richness and composition to function. Using empirical examples, we show how the CAFE approach reveals important contributions of composition to function. These examples show how changes in species richness and composition driven by environmental perturbations can work in concert or antagonistically to influence ecosystem function. Considering how communities change in an integrative fashion, rather than focusing on one axis of community structure at a time, will improve our ability to anticipate and predict changes in ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A.J. Graham

    2011-08-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

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

  6. Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    David Pearce

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Spatially Explicit Analysis of Biodiversity Loss Due to Global Agriculture, Pasture and Forest Land Use from a Producer and Consumer Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Abhishek; Pfister, Stephan; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2016-04-05

    Anthropogenic land use to produce commodities for human consumption is the major driver of global biodiversity loss. Synergistic collaboration between producers and consumers in needed to halt this trend. In this study, we calculate species loss on 5 min × 5 min grid level and per country due to global agriculture, pasture and forestry by combining high-resolution land use data with countryside species area relationship for mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Results show that pasture was the primary driver of biodiversity loss in Madagascar, China and Brazil, while forest land use contributed the most to species loss in DR Congo and Indonesia. Combined with the yield data, we quantified the biodiversity impacts of 1 m(3) of roundwood produced in 139 countries, concluding that tropical countries with low timber yield and a large presence of vulnerable species suffer the highest impact. We also calculated impacts per kg for 160 crops grown in different countries and linked it with FAO food trade data to assess the biodiversity impacts embodied in Swiss food imports. We found that more than 95% of Swiss consumption impacts rest abroad with cocoa, coffee and palm oil imports being responsible for majority of damage.

  8. Connecting Earth observation to high-throughput biodiversity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bush, Alex; Sollmann, Rahel; Wilting, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Understandably, given the fast pace of biodiversity loss, there is much interest in using Earth observation technology to track biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, because most biodiversity is invisible to Earth observation, indicators based on Earth observation could...... be misleading and reduce the effectiveness of nature conservation and even unintentionally decrease conservation effort. We describe an approach that combines automated recording devices, high-throughput DNA sequencing and modern ecological modelling to extract much more of the information available in Earth...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-18

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Susanne; Bogeholz, Susanne

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Understanding the effects of end-loss on linear Fresnelcollectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jing; Chang, Zheng

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, the end loss effect of linear Fresnel collector was analyzed. The aim of this work was to investigate the seasonal effects of end losses on the linear Fresnel collectors deployed, and analyze the change of the month average for end loss at different locations. Furthermore, a end loss compensated approach is proposed, and the increased instantaneous thermal efficiency of the experimental system is measured. A two-meter long linear Fresnel collector experimental system with horizontal north-south axis is performed, The result that compensation of the end loss of the linear Fresnel reflector system stands a good improvement for thermal performance. Meanwhile, in comparison with the reflector field prior to the change, an instantaneous thermal efficiency has increased by approximately 50%, and it increased by almost 20% at the afternoon time. All this work can offer some valuable references to the further study on high-efficiency linear Fresnel concentrating system.

  13. The integration of biodiversity into One Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  14. The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda Staudt,; Allison K. Leidner,; Jennifer Howard,; Kate A. Brauman,; Jeffrey S. Dukes,; Hansen, Lara J.; Paukert, Craig; Sabo, John L.; Solorzano, Luis A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystems around the world are already threatened by land-use and land-cover change, extraction of natural resources, biological disturbances, and pollution. These environmental stressors have been the primary source of ecosystem degradation to date, and climate change is now exacerbating some of their effects. Ecosystems already under stress are likely to have more rapid and acute reactions to climate change; it is therefore useful to understand how multiple stresses will interact, especially as the magnitude of climate change increases. Understanding these interactions could be critically important in the design of climate adaptation strategies, especially because actions taken by other sectors (eg energy, agriculture, transportation) to address climate change may create new ecosystem stresses.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea A Smith

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

  16. Do Zoo Visitors Need Zoology Knowledge to Understand Conservation Messages? An Exploration of the Public Understanding of Animal Biology and of the Conservation of Biodiversity in a Zoo Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dove, Tracy; Byrne, Jenny

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the current knowledge and understanding about animal biology of zoo visitors and investigates whether knowledge of animal biology influences the ability of people to understand how human activity affects biodiversity. Zoos can play a role in the development of scientific literacy in the fields of animal biology and biodiversity…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Trevor A

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor A Branch

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J Mayor

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

  1. Understanding losses in three core armoured submarine cables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Silva, Filipe Miguel Faria da; Ebdrup, Thomas; Bak, Claus Leth

    2016-01-01

    . For practical an economical reasons the preferred choice of cable for both the array and the transmission cables are three-core armoured submarine cables. Therefore, it has becoming increasingly important to be able to calculate the ampacity of such cables accurately. At present time, the ampacity of three......-core armoured submarine cables is calculated according to IEC 60287-1-1 [1]. Various measurements conducted both by cable manufacturers and transmission system operators (TSO) have shown that using the cable rating method stated in IEC 60287-1-1 underestimates the cable ampacity [2]-[6]. Furthermore......, measurements conducted within the cable industry have shown that an armoured three core cable has higher losses than equal unarmoured three core cables. It is also suggested that the inaccuracy in the IEC armour’s loss factor (λ2) is the main responsible for the conservatism in the IEC cable rating method...

  2. Towards a Molecular Understanding of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    the entire cochlea is performed by assembling consecutive images using Photoshop (Adobe, San Jose, CA) or PowerPoint (Microsoft). Once reconstituted...ears). Figure 4 – (A) representative image of a cytocochleogram. The area shown is between 70% and 80% from the apex; (B) Average hair cell loss as...Tamoxifen per 40 g of body weight using a 30G1/2 ultrafine needle insulin syringe (Becton Dickinson) containing a 10mg/ml Tamoxifen solution (Tamoxifen

  3. Gains and losses on the road to understanding Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konietzko, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and the most common cause for dementia, which affects approximately 120 thousand people in Switzerland and 35 million worldwide. Aging is a major risk factor for developing AD and thus, as our societies are growing older, we face great challenges to find treatment strategies. The disease is characterised by loss of memory, deposition of extracellular amyloid plaques containing Aβ peptides and intraneuronal tangles of the tau protein. To date, there is no effective treatment and the cause of the disease is still debated. The Schweizerische Alzheimervereinigung states that we need "continuous manifold research" into all possible causes of AD to find a cure for this disease. Fitting this proposition, a recent publication by Xia et al. (2015) described a novel mouse model that for the first time reproduces cortical neuron death as observed in human AD cases. At the same time, this publication questions the major theory of AD pathogenesis and points towards different treatment avenues that should be followed to find a cure for AD.

  4. Using historical political ecology to understand the present: water, reeds, and biodiversity in the Camargue Biosphere Reserve, southern France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael Mathevet

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Exploring both ecological and political-economic histories sheds light on the long-term effects of social and environmental changes. Wetlands provide an excellent context for examining the re-working of society-nature relations in a landscape over a long duration. Wetland conditions and social-ecological dynamics show changes rapidly and visibly because they are frequently re-engineered to account for changes in both technology and social preferences. Wetlands are subject to multiple, concurrent property and access regimes that have consequences for both management and ecosystem health. We discuss the social-natural history of the Scamandre Marshes in the western part of the Camargue Biosphere Reserve using a historical political ecology approach to analyze the shifting dynamics between power relations under a variety of political-economic arrangements, and the ecology of the marsh environment. The approach highlights how historical political ecology is a means of identifying historical socio-natures and how European or national conservation actors' constructions of a place as "natural" affect its use, conservation, and management. We show that contemporary ecological dynamics are best explained by past conflicts related to property claims, access to natural resources, and their effects on the flows and composition of water in the marsh. A general model of wetland transformation stresses repeated cycles of stability and upheaval, emphasizing that the lack of historical analysis threatens both wetlands and conflict resolution. No landscape is produced locally or ahistorically. We emphasize here that history is not only a hallmark of political ecology, but a way of understanding ecological changes that can help advance biodiversity conservation science and policy.

  5. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-14

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

  7. Relationship between aboveground biomass and multiple measures of biodiversity in subtropical forest of Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather D. Vance-Chalcraft; Michael R. Willig; Stephen B. Cox; Ariel E. Lugo; Frederick N. Scatena

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities have accelerated the rate of global loss of biodiversity, making it more important than ever to understand the structure of biodiversity hotspots. One current focus is the relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass (AGB) in a variety of ecosystems. Nonetheless, species diversity, evenness, rarity, or dominance represent other...

  8. Joining the dots - understanding the complex interplay between the values we place on wildlife, biodiversity conservation, human and animal health: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P; Pewsner, M; Angst, C

    2015-05-01

    The value of wildlife has long been ignored or under-rated. However, growing concerns about biodiversity loss and emerging diseases of wildlife origin have enhanced debates about the importance of wildlife. Wildlife-related diseases are viewed through these debates as a potential threat to wildlife conservation and domestic animal and human health. This article provides an overview of the values we place on wildlife (positive: socio-cultural, nutritional, economic, ecological; and negative: damages, health issues) and of the significance of diseases for biodiversity conservation. It shows that the values of wildlife, the emergence of wildlife diseases and biodiversity conservation are closely linked. The article also illustrates why investigations into wildlife diseases are now recognized as an integral part of global health issues. The modern One Health concept requires multi-disciplinary research groups including veterinarians, human physicians, ecologists and other scientists collaborating towards a common goal: prevention of disease emergence and preservation of ecosystems, both of which are essential to protect human life and well-being.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-14

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. © 2016 The Authors.

  11. Biodiversity conservation in metacommunity networks: linking pattern and persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economo, Evan P

    2011-06-01

    A central goal of conservation science is to identify the most important habitat patches for maintaining biodiversity on a landscape. Spatial biodiversity patterns are often used for such assessments, and patches that harbor unique diversity are generally prioritized over those with high community similarity to other areas. This places an emphasis on biodiversity representation, but removing a patch can have cascading effects on biodiversity persistence in the remaining ecological communities. Metacommunity theory provides a mechanistic route to the linking of biodiversity patterns on a landscape with the subsequent dynamics of diversity loss after habitat is degraded. Using spatially explicit neutral theory, I focus on the situation where spatial patterns of diversity and similarity are generated by the structure of dispersal networks and not environmental gradients. I find that gains in biodiversity representation are nullified by losses in persistence, and as a result the effects of removing a patch on metacommunity diversity are essentially independent of complementarity or other biodiversity patterns. In this scenario, maximizing protected area and not biodiversity representation is the key to maintaining diversity in the long term. These results highlight the need for a broader understanding of how conservation paradigms perform under different models of metacommunity dynamics.

  12. Biodiversity and the lexicon zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.G. Marcot

    2007-01-01

    Ecologists and natural resource managers struggle to define and relate biodiversity, biocomplexity, ecological integrity, ecosystem services, and related concepts; to describe effects of disturbance dynamics on biodiversity; and to understand how biodiversity relates to resilience, resistance, and stability of ecosystems and sustainability of resource conditions. To...

  13. Predicting ecosystem stability from community composition and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Mazancourt, Claire; Isbell, Forest; Larocque, Allen; Berendse, Frank; De Luca, Enrica; Grace, James B; Haegeman, Bart; Wayne Polley, H; Roscher, Christiane; Schmid, Bernhard; Tilman, David; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian J; Loreau, Michel

    2013-05-01

    As biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, an important current scientific challenge is to understand and predict the consequences of biodiversity loss. Here, we develop a theory that predicts the temporal variability of community biomass from the properties of individual component species in monoculture. Our theory shows that biodiversity stabilises ecosystems through three main mechanisms: (1) asynchrony in species' responses to environmental fluctuations, (2) reduced demographic stochasticity due to overyielding in species mixtures and (3) reduced observation error (including spatial and sampling variability). Parameterised with empirical data from four long-term grassland biodiversity experiments, our prediction explained 22-75% of the observed variability, and captured much of the effect of species richness. Richness stabilised communities mainly by increasing community biomass and reducing the strength of demographic stochasticity. Our approach calls for a re-evaluation of the mechanisms explaining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem stability. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beninde, Joscha; Veith, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Saving wild tigers: a case study in biodiversity loss and challenges to be met for recovery beyond 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidensticker, John

    2010-12-01

    Wild tigers are being annihilated. Tiger range countries and their partners met at the 1st Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in January 2010 to mandate the creation of the Global Tiger Recovery Program to double the number of tigers by 2022. Only 3200-3600 wild adult tigers remain, approximately half of the population estimated a decade ago. Tigers now live in only 13 countries, all of which are experiencing severe environmental challenges and degradation from the effects of human population growth, brisk economic expansion, rapid urbanization, massive infrastructure development and climate change. The overarching challenge of tiger conservation, and the conservation of biodiversity generally, is that there is insufficient demand for the survival of wild tigers living in natural landscapes. This allows the criminal activities of poaching wild tigers and their prey and trafficking in tiger derivatives to flourish and tiger landscapes to be diminished. The Global Tiger Recovery Program will support scaling up of practices already proven effective in one or more tiger range countries that need wider policy support, usually resources, and new transnational actions that enhance the effectiveness of individual country actions. The program is built on robust National Tiger Recovery Priorities that are grouped into themes: (i) strengthening policies that protect tigers; (ii) protecting tiger conservation landscapes; (iii) scientific management and monitoring; (iv) engaging communities; (v) cooperative management of international tiger landscapes; (vi) eliminating transnational illegal wildlife trade; (vii) persuading people to stop consuming tiger; (viii) enhancing professional capacity of policy-makers and practitioners; and (ix) developing sustainable, long-term financing mechanisms for tiger and biodiversity conservation. © 2010 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  16. Local land-use planning to conserve biodiversity: planners' perspectives on what works.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, David L; Hanson, Marian F; Oaks, Deborah D; Straub, Jaime E; Ponio, Aileen V

    2010-04-01

    Because habitat loss due to urbanization is a primary threat to biodiversity, and land-use decisions in urbanizing areas are mainly made at the local level, land-use planning by municipal planning departments has a potentially important--but largely unrealized--role in conserving biodiversity. To understand planners' perspectives on the factors that facilitate and impede biodiversity conservation in local planning, we interviewed directors of 17 municipal planning departments in the greater Seattle (Washington, U.S.A.) area and compared responses of planners from similar-sized jurisdictions that were "high" and "low performing" with respect to incorporation of biodiversity conservation in local planning. Planners from low-performing jurisdictions regarded mandates from higher governmental levels as the primary drivers of biodiversity conservation, whereas those from high-performing jurisdictions regarded community values as the main drivers, although they also indicated that mandates were important. Biodiversity conservation was associated with presence of local conservation flagship elements (e.g., salmonids) and human-centered benefits of biodiversity conservation (e.g., quality of life). Planners from high- and low-performing jurisdictions favored different planning mechanisms for biodiversity conservation, perhaps reflecting differences in funding and staffing. High performers reported more collaborations with other entities on biodiversity issues. Planners' comments indicated that the term biodiversity may be problematic in the context of local planning. The action most planners recommended to increase biodiversity conservation in local planning was public education. These results suggest that to advance biodiversity conservation in local land-use planning, conservation biologists should investigate and educate the public about local conservation flagships and human benefits of local biodiversity, work to raise ecological literacy and explain biodiversity more

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    San, Khin Nyein

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Business and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    The extent of genetic diversity loss and former connectivity between fragmented populations are often unknown factors when studying endangered species. While genetic techniques are commonly applied in extant populations to assess temporal and spatial demographic changes, it is no substitute for directly measuring past diversity using ancient DNA (aDNA). We analysed both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear microsatellite loci from 64 historical fossil and skin samples of the critically endangered Western Australian woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi), and compared them with 231 (n = 152 for mtDNA) modern samples. In modern woylie populations 15 mitochondrial control region (CR) haplotypes were identified. Interestingly, mtDNA CR data from only 29 historical samples demonstrated 15 previously unknown haplotypes and detected an extinct divergent clade. Through modelling, we estimated the loss of CR mtDNA diversity to be between 46% and 91% and estimated this to have occurred in the past 2000-4000 years in association with a dramatic population decline. In addition, we obtained near-complete 11-loci microsatellite profiles from 21 historical samples. In agreement with the mtDNA data, a number of 'new' microsatellite alleles was only detected in the historical populations despite extensive modern sampling, indicating a nuclear genetic diversity loss >20%. Calculations of genetic diversity (heterozygosity and allelic rarefaction) showed that these were significantly higher in the past and that there was a high degree of gene flow across the woylie's historical range. These findings have an immediate impact on how the extant populations are managed and we recommend the implementation of an assisted migration programme to prevent further loss of genetic diversity. Our study demonstrates the value of integrating aDNA data into current-day conservation strategies. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. What Do Israeli High School Students Understand about Biodiversity? An Evaluation of the High School Biology Programme, "Nature in a World of Change"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dor-Haim, Shayli; Amir, Ruth; Dodick, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    One of the most serious problems facing our planet is the biodiversity crisis. As a solution to this problem, both scientists and educators have emphasised the need for educating people about how to conserve the Earth's biodiversity. As a small contribution to this effort, we have designed a learning unit about biodiversity, "Nature in a…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature...

  4. Biodiversity and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.R. Willig

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Screening the banana biodiversity for drought tolerance: can an in vitro growth model and proteomics be used as a tool to discover tolerant varieties and understand homeostasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Catherine eVanhove

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available There is a great need for research aimed at understanding drought tolerance, screening for drought tolerant varieties and breeding cops with an improved water use efficiency. Bananas and plantains are a major staple food and export product with a worldwide production of over 135 million tonnes per year. Water however is the most limiting abiotic factor in banana production. A screening of the Musa biodiversity has not yet been performed. We at KU Leuven host the Musa International Germplasm collection with over 1200 accessions. To screen the Musa biodiversity for drought tolerant varieties, we developed a screening test for in vitro plants. Five varieties representing different genomic constitutions in banana (AAAh, AAA, AAB, AABp and ABB were selected and subjected to a mild osmotic stress. The ABB variety showed the smallest stress induced growth reduction. To get an insight into the acclimation and the accomplishment of homeostasis, the leaf proteome of this variety was characterized via 2D DIGE. After extraction of the leaf proteome of 6 control and 6 stressed plants, 2600 spots could be distinguished. A PCA analysis indicates that control and stressed plants can blindly be classified based on their proteome. One hundred and twelve proteins were significantly more abundant in the stressed plants and eighteen proteins were significantly more abundant in control plants (FDR α 0.05. Twenty four differential proteins could be identified. The proteome analysis clearly shows that there is a new balance in the stressed plants and that the respiration, metabolism of ROS and several dehydrogenases involved in NAD/NADH homeostasis play an important role.

  6. Relationship between biodiversity and agricultural production

    OpenAIRE

    Brunetti, Ilaria; Tidball, Mabel; Couvet, Denis

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Which instruments to preserve forest biodiversity?

    OpenAIRE

    Elodie Brahic

    2010-01-01

    In general, neither the social norms nor market dynamics stimulate spontaneously activities and practices conducive to biodiversity. The nature of public good of biodiversity leads to its rapid erosion. Even if it can respond positively to social expectations and improve welfare in the long term2, taking into account biodiversity often leads to changes in the way we produce or how to exercise its property right. The consideration of biodiversity may determine production losses and income decr...

  8. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, M.A.

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Evaluating the contribution of zoos and aquariums to Aichi Biodiversity Target 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Andrew; Jensen, Eric; Gusset, Markus

    2015-04-01

    The United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is a key initiative within global efforts to halt and eventually reverse the loss of biodiversity. The very first target of this plan states that "by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably." Zoos and aquariums worldwide, attracting more than 700 million visits every year, could potentially make a positive contribution to this target. However, a global evaluation of the educational impacts of visits to zoos and aquariums is entirely lacking in the existing literature. To address this gap, we conducted a large-scale impact evaluation study. We used a pre- and postvisit repeated-measures survey design to evaluate biodiversity literacy-understanding of biodiversity and knowledge of actions to help protect it-of zoo and aquarium visitors worldwide. Ours was the largest and most international study of zoo and aquarium visitors ever conducted. In total, 5661 visitors to 26 zoos and aquariums from 19 countries around the globe participated in the study. Aggregate biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity both significantly increased over the course of zoo and aquarium visits. There was an increase from previsit (69.8%) to postvisit (75.1%) in respondents demonstrating at least some positive evidence of biodiversity understanding. Similarly, there was an increase from previsit (50.5%) to postvisit (58.8%) in respondents who could identify actions to help protect biodiversity that could be achieved at an individual level. Our results are the most compelling evidence to date that zoo and aquarium visits contribute to increasing the number of people who understand biodiversity and know actions they can take to help protect biodiversity. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  13. Illustrating the (invisible: Understanding the impact of loss in adults living with secondary lymphedema after cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roanne Thomas

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Life with a disability is often riddled with paradoxes, one of which is being visibly marked, while personal experiences, losses, and challenges remain hidden. Our article draws attention to this paradox among people who live with secondary lymphedema after cancer (SLC. SLC is a relatively unfamiliar chronic condition within medical and lay discourses of cancer, which proves challenging for the many cancer survivors who are in search of information and understanding. Thirteen men and women with SLC were recruited from two research sites (Fredericton, NB, and Ottawa, ON, Canada to participate in semi-structured interviews about the physical and psychosocial aspects of SLC. Using a methodology of interpretive description, our analysis of participant interviews reveals the complex ways in which men and women felt both visible and invisible within various contexts. We discuss three majors themes: (invisibility and appearance related to material losses; (invisibility and action connected to visible losses in function, as well as invisible struggles to care for oneself; and the loss of present and future well-being, as SLC renders some limitations visible while potentially obscuring a hopeful future indefinitely. Our research indicates that timely diagnosis of SLC would be an immediate first step in recognizing the physical and emotional dimensions of the condition. To accomplish this, increased awareness is needed. To enhance quality of life for those living with SLC, the development of new resources and psychosocial supports is also required.

  14. Understanding Energy Loss in Organic Solar Cells: Toward a New Efficiency Regime

    KAUST Repository

    Menke, S. Matthew

    2017-10-19

    Reducing energy and voltage loss is an imperative area of improvement for the design of organic solar cells (OSCs). Both in the context of charge generation and charge recombination, significant amounts of energy are lost even in state-of-the-art OSCs compared with their inorganic counterparts. Through a set of recent examples, however, we show that (1) charge generation can proceed with high quantum efficiency even in the absence of an offset energy at the donor-acceptor interface and (2) non-radiative charge recombination may be mitigated by considering systems with distinct properties of the interfacial charge-transfer state. To capitalize on these recent advances in understanding, we provide three actionable paths forward that aim to better identify, process, and characterize low energy loss systems: incorporating consistent and accurate measurements for energy levels, moving away from photoluminescence quenching, and exploring blends with reduced miscibility.

  15. Understanding the Journey: A Phenomenological Study of College Students' Lived Experiences during the Weight-Loss Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Michael W.

    2013-01-01

    Although numerous studies have focused on understanding various aspects of the science of weight loss and weight gain in college students, understanding how the weight-loss process affects college students psychologically and behaviorally may help administrators and student affairs professionals to better work with students on their campuses. The…

  16. Nature in the metropolis: Mapping biodiversity using metropolitan landscape characterization tools

    OpenAIRE

    Tisma, A.; van der Velde, J.R.T.; Nijhuis, S.; Pouderoijen, M.T.

    2014-01-01

    Cities can be planned and designed to reduce their effect on biodiversity loss and may even be able to sustain biodiversity levels in some instances, due to ‘beta-diversity’. The heterogeneity of metropolitan regions can be expected to have a strong impact on beta-diversity. Tools such as landscape characterization can assist in the understanding of betadiversity in metropolitan regions by mapping the extent and configuration of beta-diversity conditions, in particular microhabitats and habit...

  17. Frontiers in research on biodiversity and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. Teaching Biodiversity & Evolution through Travel Course Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zervanos, Stam. M.; McLaughlin, Jacqueline S.

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity is the extraordinary variety of life in this planet. In order to be fully appreciated, biodiversity needs to be experienced firsthand, or "experientially." Thus, the standard classroom lecture format is not the ideal situation for teaching biodiversity and evolutionary concepts, in that student interest and understanding are…

  19. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

  1. The rich and the poor: environmental biodiversity protecting from allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruokolainen, Lasse; Fyhrquist, Nanna; Haahtela, Tari

    2016-10-01

    It has been proposed that biodiversity loss leads to reduced interaction between environmental and human microbiotas. This, in turn, may lead to immune dysfunction and impaired tolerance mechanisms in humans. That is, contact with environmental biodiversity is expected to protect from allergies. However, direct evidence linking contact with biodiversity and risk of allergy has been lacking. In this review, we consider the latest research on the biodiversity hypothesis of allergy. It is becoming clear that what you eat, drink, inhale, and touch all contribute to the grand scheme of host-microbial crosstalk that is needed for a balanced, healthy immune system to develop and maintain a healthy recognition between harmful and harmless invasions. Microbes can either communicate directly with host immune cells or affect the host via metabolism that can even lead to epigenetic modifications. Our living environment plays a key role in this process. Although especially, early exposure to diverse, beneficial microbiota from the environment is repeatedly found crucial, studies on immigrants demonstrate that condition in later life can also be decisive. We are still lacking a more detailed understanding of the interaction between natural, environmental biodiversity, and health, which calls for new innovative and more long-term investigations. The outcomes should be utilized in policy and urban planning efforts, promoting human interaction with natural biodiversity, and supporting a healthy lifestyle.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, Julianne H.; Waite, Thomas A.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Teaching Biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-20

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

  5. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagg, C.; Bender, S.F.; Widmer, D.; van der Heijden, Marcellus|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Status and strategies for marine biodiversity of Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Untawale, A.G.

    The status of marine biodiversity and factors responsible for the degradation and loss of marine biodiversity are discussed. Goa has abundant marine wealth. Phytoplankton, marine algae, manglicolous fungi, seagrasses, mangrove flora and other...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  10. Systematic temporal patterns in the relationship between housing development and forest bird biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidgeon, Anna M; Flather, Curtis H; Radeloff, Volker C; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Keuler, Nicholas S; Wood, Eric M; Stewart, Susan I; Hammer, Roger B

    2014-10-01

    As people encroach increasingly on natural areas, one question is how this affects avian biodiversity. The answer to this is partly scale-dependent. At broad scales, human populations and biodiversity concentrate in the same areas and are positively associated, but at local scales people and biodiversity are negatively associated with biodiversity. We investigated whether there is also a systematic temporal trend in the relationship between bird biodiversity and housing development. We used linear regression to examine associations between forest bird species richness and housing growth in the conterminous United States over 30 years. Our data sources were the North American Breeding Bird Survey and the 2000 decennial U.S. Census. In the 9 largest forested ecoregions, housing density increased continually over time. Across the conterminous United States, the association between bird species richness and housing density was positive for virtually all guilds except ground nesting birds. We found a systematic trajectory of declining bird species richness as housing increased through time. In more recently developed ecoregions, where housing density was still low, the association with bird species richness was neutral or positive. In ecoregions that were developed earlier and where housing density was highest, the association of housing density with bird species richness for most guilds was negative and grew stronger with advancing decades. We propose that in general the relationship between human settlement and biodiversity over time unfolds as a 2-phase process. The first phase is apparently innocuous; associations are positive due to coincidence of low-density housing with high biodiversity. The second phase is highly detrimental to biodiversity, and increases in housing density are associated with biodiversity losses. The long-term effect on biodiversity depends on the final housing density. This general pattern can help unify our understanding of the relationship

  11. Getting the measure of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purvis, A; Hector, A

    2000-05-11

    The term 'biodiversity' is a simple contraction of 'biological diversity', and at first sight the concept is simple too: biodiversity is the sum total of all biotic variation from the level of genes to ecosystems. The challenge comes in measuring such a broad concept in ways that are useful. We show that, although biodiversity can never be fully captured by a single number, study of particular facets has led to rapid, exciting and sometimes alarming discoveries. Phylogenetic and temporal analyses are shedding light on the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped current biodiversity. There is no doubt that humans are now destroying this diversity at an alarming rate. A vital question now being tackled is how badly this loss affects ecosystem functioning. Although current research efforts are impressive, they are tiny in comparison to the amount of unknown diversity and the urgency and importance of the task.

  12. The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Foale

    2016-11-01

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

  13. Climate change patterns in Amazonia and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Plantation forests and biodiversity: oxymoron or opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  16. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven L Chown

    2017-03-01

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

  17. Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity Monitoring Plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Georgina M.; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-01-01

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth’s human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum—as well as opposition—is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem’s long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify ‘biodiversity services’ in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. PMID:27928040

  20. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Nathalie; Mace, Georgina M; Naeem, Shahid; Tobias, Joseph A; Pigot, Alex L; Cavanagh, Rachel; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-12-14

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth's human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum-as well as opposition-is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem's long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify 'biodiversity services' in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Nitrogen deposition and terrestrial biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Headwater biodiversity among different levels of stream habitat hierarchy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Göthe, Emma; Friberg, Nikolai; Kahlert, Maria

    2014-01-01

    With the current loss of biodiversity and threats to freshwater ecosystems, it is crucial to identify hot-spots of biodiversity and on which spatial scale they can be resolved. Conservation and management of these important ecosystems needs insight into whether most of the regional biodiversity (i...

  4. The effect of buffer zone width on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navntoft, Søren; Sigsgaard, Lene; Kristensen, Kristian

    2012-01-01

    Field margin management for conservation purposes is a way to protect both functional biodiversity and biodiversity per se without considerable economical loss as field margins are less productive. However, the effect of width of the buffer zone on achievable biodiversity gains has received little...

  5. Vortex methods to answer the need for improved understanding and modelling of tip-loss factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Branlard, Emmanuel; Dixon, Kristian; Gaunaa, Mac

    2013-01-01

    Standard blade element momentum (BEM) codes use Prandtl¿s tip-loss correction which relies on simplified vortex theory under the assumption of optimal operating condition and no wake expansion. The various tip-loss functions found in the literature are listed. A simple comparison between them shows...... important differences in Annual Energy Production which reveal a large uncertainty in current BEM-based computations. A new tip-loss correction for implementation in BEM codes has been developed using a lifting-line code to account for the effect of wake expansion, roll-up and distortion under many...

  6. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Understanding energy loss in parallelly connected microbial fuel cells: Non-Faradaic current.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Junyeong; Sim, Junyoung; Feng, Yujie; Lee, Hyung-Sool

    2016-03-01

    In this work, the mechanisms of energy loss in parallel connection of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is explored using two MFC units producing different open circuit voltage (OCV) and current. In open circuit mode, non-Faradaic current flows in low OCV unit, implying energy loss caused by different OCVs in parallelly stacked MFCs. In a stacked MFC in parallel under close circuit mode, it is confirmed that energy loss occurs until the working voltage in high OCV unit becomes identical to the other unit having low OCV. This result indicates that different voltage between individual MFC units can cause energy loss due to both non-Faradic and Faradaic current that flow from high voltage unit to low voltage unit even in parallelly stacked MFCs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Measuring temporal trends in biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. The biodiversity-dependent ecosystem service debt.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Voltage Losses in Organic Solar Cells: Understanding the Contributions of Intramolecular Vibrations to Nonradiative Recombinations

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Xiankai

    2017-12-18

    The large voltage losses usually encountered in organic solar cells significantly limit the power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of these devices, with the result that the current highest PCE values in single-junction organic photovoltaic remain smaller than for other solar cell technologies, such as crystalline silicon or perovskite solar cells. In particular, the nonradiative recombinations to the electronic ground state from the lowest-energy charge-transfer (CT) states at the donor-acceptor interfaces in the active layer of organic devices, are responsible for a significant part of the voltage losses. Here, to better comprehend the nonradiative voltage loss mechanisms, a fully quantum-mechanical rate formula is employed within the framework of time-dependent perturbation theory, combined with density functional theory. The objective is to uncover the specific contributions of intramolecular vibrations to the CT-state nonradiative recombinations in several model systems, which include small-molecule and polymer donors as well as fullerene and nonfullerene acceptors.

  12. The loss of DOC in transit through river catchments - impact on the atmosphere and understanding trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, C.; Worrall, F.; Howden, N. K.; Burt, T. P.

    2012-12-01

    The flux of DOC from the UK has been estimated as peaking at over 1.3 Mtonnes C/yr (5.3 tonnes C/km2/yr). However, estimates of DOC from the UK and elsewhere across the globe are made at the downstream end of catchments and not at the source of the DOC. Therefore, estimates of loss from the terrestrial biosphere are underestimated and the impact of degradation of DOC on losses of carbon to the atmosphere. Previous attempts by this group have used nationally collected biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) data to measure the loss of DOC across the UK and found a loss of xyz. Equally, we have used mass balance on one river to suggest a loss of 40% between source and sea. In this study we consider several approaches to the problem: i) Compared calculated fluxes of DOC for 169 rivers across the UK with soil, area and land use characteristics in order to give the net watershed loss across the UK. ii) Measured rates of degradation across a large river catchment iii) Developed rate laws for DOC degradation; and iv) Calculated the in-stream residence times so that rate laws can be integrated to give a measure of total oss to the atmosphere. The results shows that i) Mass balance suggests that net watershed losses of DOC are between 2200 and 3100 ktonnes C/yr, equivalent to between 9.0 and 12.7 tonnes C/km2/yr which represents a removal rate of between 42 and 82%. ii) Based on physical modelling for one river catchment found an instream residence time of between 12 and 127 hours which gave a removal rate of between 48 and 69%. Such rapid removal rates suggests the DOC loss within UK rivers would be equivalent to 3% of the toal UK greenhouse gas output. The extent of DOC removal within streams may alter interpretations of the increases in DOC concentration observed around the northern hemisphere.

  13. Emotion Understanding in Preschool Children with Mild-to-Severe Hearing Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laugen, Nina J.; Jacobsen, Karl H.; Rieffe, Carolien; Wichstrøm, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Deaf and hard of hearing school-aged children are at risk for delayed development of emotion understanding; however, little is known about this during the preschool years. We compared the level of emotion understanding in a group of 35 4-5-year-old children who use hearing aids to that of 130 children with typical hearing. Moreover, we…

  14. Biofuels and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John; Fargione, Joseph; Hill, Jason

    2011-06-01

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

  15. Biodiversity in the neotropics: ecological, economic and social values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JG. Tundisi

    Full Text Available Biodiversity in the neotropical region is of enormous importance, specially related to the future exploitation of this natural resource for food production, medical applications and restoration ecology and technology. Knowledge of this biodiversity and its conservation represents an important step from the scientific and applied point of view. Neotropical biodiversity is endangered by human interventions. Loss of this large genetic and phenotypic base will affect the functioning of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Neotropical forests and floodplains, great internal deltas of rivers are active centers of evolution. Loss of neotropical biodiversity will represent the loss of processes, economic values and ecosystem services.

  16. Understanding Environmental Change and Biodiversity in a Dryland Ecosystem through Quantification of Climate Variability and Land Modification: The Case of the Dhofar Cloud Forest, Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galletti, Christopher S.

    The Dhofar Cloud Forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Arabian Peninsula. As part of the South Arabian Cloud Forest that extends from southern Oman to Yemen, the cloud forest is an important center of endemism and provides valuable ecosystem services to those living in the region. There have been various claims made about the health of the cloud forest and its surrounding region, the most prominent of which are: 1) variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon threatens long-term vegetation health, and 2) human encroachment is causing deforestation and land degradation. This dissertation uses three independent studies to test these claims and bring new insight about the biodiversity of the cloud forest. Evidence is presented that shows that the vegetation dynamics of the cloud forest are resilient to most of the variability in the monsoon. Much of the biodiversity in the cloud forest is dominated by a few species with high abundance and a moderate number of species at low abundance. The characteristic tree species include Anogeissus dhofarica and Commiphora spp. These species tend to dominate the forested regions of the study area. Grasslands are dominated by species associated with overgrazing (Calotropis procera and Solanum incanum). Analysis from a land cover study conducted between 1988 and 2013 shows that deforestation has occurred to approximately 8% of the study area and decreased vegetation fractions are found throughout the region. Areas around the city of Salalah, located close to the cloud forest, show widespread degradation in the 21st century based on an NDVI time series analysis. It is concluded that humans are the primary driver of environmental change. Much of this change is tied to national policies and development priorities implemented after the Dhofar War in the 1970's.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander C Lees

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

  19. Climate changes and biodiversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsmeier, C.

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Collaborative Research: Understanding Ion Losses to Plasma Boundaries Sheaths and Presheaths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hershkowitz, Noah [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Sheaths are common to all bounded steady-state plasmas. This includes laboratory, industrial, fusion, and in some cases even space plasmas. They form in general to balance particle loss and maintain quasi-neutrality in plasmas. Electrons are lighter than the ions by 2000 times or more (depending on the gas), and in most plasmas ion temperatures are rarely higher than the electron temperature and generally much lower. Thus in most cases, negative potential sheaths occur to confine electrons and allow ions to be freely lost. We have investigated how a plasma locally response to a positive bias on a small electrode, and have established area criteria which plasma reacts differently to the positive bias – first a pure electron sheath, and a global non-ambipolar regime where all electrons are lost to the electrode, and a double layer structure identified as a virtual cathode forms to limiting electron loss and maintain quasi-neutrality, and finally a anode spot regime where a secondary discharge occurs in front of the electrode, turning it into the major loss area of the entire plasma. Electrode area and plasma parameters criteria for these regimes were established, and the effect of the virtual cathode on the electrode’s I-V characteristics was investigated. We have also developed a global non-ambipolar electron source to replace hollow cathodes in a number of plasma applications. This eliminates the lifetime limitation and maintenance cost of hollow cathodes as they easily wear out easily and cannot be replaced in space applications.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Biodiversity and Edge Effects: An Activity in Landscape Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Justin L.

    2007-01-01

    Biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity have received increased attention during the last few decades and these topics have been implemented into many G7-12 science curricula. This work presents an exercise that may be used in middle and high school classrooms to help students better understand spatial aspects of biodiversity. The…

  3. Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisdell, Clement A

    2011-02-01

    Economic evaluations are essential for assessing the desirability of biodiversity conservation. This article highlights significant advances in theories and methods of economic evaluation and their relevance and limitations as a guide to biodiversity conservation; considers the implications of the phylogenetic similarity principle for the survival of species; discusses consequences of the Noah's Ark problem for selecting features of biodiversity to be saved; analyzes the extent to which the precautionary principle can be rationally used to support the conservation of biodiversity; explores the impact of market extensions, market and other institutional failures, and globalization on biodiversity loss; examines the relationship between the rate of interest and biodiversity depletion; and investigates the implications of intergenerational equity for biodiversity conservation. The consequences of changes in biodiversity for sustainable development are given particular attention. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  4. Understanding history, philanthropy and the role of WHO in provision of assistive technologies for hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadha, Shelly; Moussy, Francis; Friede, Martin Howell

    2014-09-01

    Philanthropy continues to play an important role in provision of hearing devices and is often the only alternative for the majority of those in need of these devices. While this leads to improved access to services it may also create unsustainable service delivery models. Over the past decade, World Health Organization (WHO) has been making consistent efforts towards promoting accessibility and affordability of high-quality hearing devices, especially in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). WHO developed and updated the "Guidelines for Hearing Aids and Services in Developing Countries", in 2004. In 2006, WHO supported the establishment of "World Wide (WW) Hearing", to promote hearing aid access across the globe. In the past year, WHO has renewed these efforts. As the first step and following a consultation on promoting access to hearing devices, WHO has developed a preferred product profile in order to facilitate the development and access of appropriate and affordable hearing aids for developing countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (article 32), calls for international collaboration to promote access to assistive technology including hearing devices. A coordinated global effort is required to promote availability and affordability of high-quality hearing devices. Such an undertaking requires the cooperation of all stakeholders: WHO, Member States, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), philanthropists, manufacturers and users, to fulfill the international obligation and bring about a change in the quality of life of millions of people with hearing loss. Development of preferred product profile for hearing aids in LMICs can improve development and provision of high-quality, affordable hearing devices. Investment made by the recipients, such as partial financial contribution towards the cost of device or through purchase of ear mould or batteries, leads to a greater sense of responsibility towards the device and its maintenance

  5. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Carissa J; Brown, Christopher J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Segan, Daniel B; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E M

    2015-12-03

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean's biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially 'areas of particular importance for biodiversity' (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km(2) of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD's overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services.

  6. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavanagh, Rachel D; Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M; Grant, Susie M; Murphy, Eugene J; Austen, Melanie C

    2016-12-14

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. Livestock biodiversity and sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffmann, I.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Heran; Cao, Shixiong

    2015-02-01

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

  9. Biodiversity in the Marketplace

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Heal

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Rio+20, biodiversity marginalized

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sunil Nautiyal

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballouard, Jean-Marie; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1) a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2) an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords) was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect "virtual" (unseen, exotic) rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity.

  13. Understanding Tropical Forest Abiotic Responses to Canopy Loss and Biomass Deposition from an Experimental Hurricane Manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beusekom, A.; González, G.; Stankavitch, S.; Zimmerman, J. K.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the nature and duration of the response of tropical forests to the extreme weather events of hurricanes is critical to understanding future forest regimes, as hurricanes are expected to increase in frequency with climate change. Here we present results from a manipulative experiment on hurricane disturbance effects in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) in Puerto Rico. The LEF is an example of a forest that would be in a frequent-hurricane region in Earth System Models (ESMs). Thus, the Canopy Trimming Experiment (CTE) was designed to study the key mechanisms behind such a forest's response after a major hurricane (category 4), and guide how repeated hurricanes might be expected to alter such ecosystems using these key mechanisms. Furthermore, with explicit forest manipulation instead of natural occurrence, it is possible to separate out which aspects of hurricane disturbance are most important to be accurately included in ESMs. Phase one of the experiments ran from 2005-2012, where it was found that short-term biotic responses of the forests were driven by canopy openness rather than by debris deposition. In phase two, running from 2014 through the present, we focus here on the abiotic changes forcing the overall response of the ecosystem. The manner in which these abiotic characteristics are disturbed and the speed at which they recover will be key to the continued existence of tropical forests under a climate with more frequent hurricane activity.

  14. Knowing Agricultural Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvany, P.

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Excisional Precision Matters: Understanding the Influence of Excisional Volume Loss on Renal Function After Partial Nephrectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagenais, Julien; Maurice, Matthew J; Mouracade, Pascal; Kara, Onder; Malkoc, Ercan; Kaouk, Jihad H

    2017-08-01

    Renal function after partial nephrectomy (PN) may depend on modifiable factors including ischemia time, excision of healthy parenchyma (excisional volume loss, EVL), and reconstructive methods. We retrospectively reviewed our institutional robotic PN database to identify the predictors of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) preservation (GFR-P) at 3-12 mo postoperatively, during which GFR decline plateaus. Baseline clinical, sociodemographic, and radiologic characteristics were captured. Univariate and multivariate (MV) linear regression analyses were performed and marginal effects were employed to examine the relative effect of EVL on renal function. A total of 647 patients who underwent robotic PN had GFR data at a median follow-up of 6 mo. On MV models, EVL was significantly correlated with GFR-P following log transformation (p=0.001). Each doubling of EVL caused a 1.5% decrease in GFR-P. Ischemia time and tumor complexity were not significantly associated with GFR-P. In summary, GFR-P after PN appears to be significantly associated with the excised volume of benign parenchyma. At a high-volume tertiary care center, we investigated the impact of surgical factors on kidney function after kidney cancer surgery. We found that the surgical precision with which the tumor is excised significantly impacts kidney function at 3-12 mo after surgery. Copyright © 2017 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Isolation, feeling 'stuck' and loss of control: understanding persistence of depression in British Pakistani women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gask, Linda; Aseem, Saadia; Waquas, Ayesha; Waheed, Waquas

    2011-01-01

    Persistent depression is more commonly experienced by British Pakistani women. The processes by which this results in an experience of chronic depression are not well understood. Qualitative thematic analysis of 15 in-depth interviews with British Pakistani women being treated for depression in primary care, collected in the process of a larger three-centre research project to explore experience of depression and its treatment (the QUEST-D study) in England. Three key overlapping themes emerged: a) 'feeling stuck'--for many of the women, the persistence of depression was experienced as inescapable because it was related to family conflict that seemed impossible to resolve; b) 'isolation'--which might be externally determined by social and cultural factors but also in some cases appeared to be self-imposed; c) 'control'--issues related to loss of a sense of control in depression, and attempts to regain it. The study was carried out in only one area of the United Kingdom, East Lancashire. It formed part of a larger study to explore views of treatment, and there were therefore limited opportunities for further development of some of the themes that have subsequently emerged in this secondary analysis of the data. Psychological therapy for this population needs to be tailored to specific needs by identifying and addressing both the underlying cause(s) and the specific consequences of depression and associated social isolation for each individual person. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Comprehensive Understanding of Ductility Loss Mechanisms in Various Steels with External and Internal Hydrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takakuwa, Osamu; Yamabe, Junichiro; Matsunaga, Hisao; Furuya, Yoshiyuki; Matsuoka, Saburo

    2017-11-01

    Hydrogen-induced ductility loss and related fracture morphologies are comprehensively discussed in consideration of the hydrogen distribution in a specimen with external and internal hydrogen by using 300-series austenitic stainless steels (Types 304, 316, 316L), high-strength austenitic stainless steels (HP160, XM-19), precipitation-hardened iron-based super alloy (A286), low-alloy Cr-Mo steel (JIS-SCM435), and low-carbon steel (JIS-SM490B). External hydrogen is realized by a non-charged specimen tested in high-pressure gaseous hydrogen, and internal hydrogen is realized by a hydrogen-charged specimen tested in air or inert gas. Fracture morphologies obtained by slow-strain-rate tensile tests (SSRT) of the materials with external or internal hydrogen could be comprehensively categorized into five types: hydrogen-induced successive crack growth, ordinary void formation, small-sized void formation related to the void sheet, large-sized void formation, and facet formation. The mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement are broadly classified into hydrogen-enhanced decohesion (HEDE) and hydrogen-enhanced localized plasticity (HELP). In the HEDE model, hydrogen weakens interatomic bonds, whereas in the HELP model, hydrogen enhances localized slip deformations. Although various fracture morphologies are produced by external or internal hydrogen, these morphologies can be explained by the HELP model rather than by the HEDE model.

  18. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2011-04-01

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

  2. Noah’s Ark or World Wild Web? Cultural Perspectives in Global Scenario Studies and Their Function for Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carijn Beumer

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Scenarios and their assumptions on biodiversity conservation, using a framework based on the cultural theory (CT perspectives. We explored an adaptation of the CT typology and the significance of some underrepresented worldviews for discussions on conservation in a changing world. The evaluation of the assumptions on biodiversity conservation in the scenario studies and storylines adds to our understanding of the socio-cultural dimensions of biodiversity loss in a changing world. It contributes to an understanding of the worldviews underlying the complex debates on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Making such assumptions and world views explicit will help policymakers and conservationists discuss the diversity of conservation strategies in the face of uncertainty.

  3. Using participatory risk mapping (PRM to identify and understand people's perceptions of crop loss to animals in Uganda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda D Webber

    Full Text Available Considering how people perceive risks to their livelihoods from local wildlife is central to (i understanding the impact of crop damage by animals on local people and (ii recognising how this influences their interactions with, and attitudes towards, wildlife. Participatory risk mapping (PRM is a simple, analytical tool that can be used to identify and classify risk within communities. Here we use it to explore local people's perceptions of crop damage by wildlife and the animal species involved. Interviews (n = 93, n = 76 and seven focus groups were conducted in four villages around Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda during 2004 and 2005. Farms (N = 129 were simultaneously monitored for crop loss. Farmers identified damage by wildlife as the most significant risk to their crops; risk maps highlighted its anomalous status compared to other anticipated challenges to agricultural production. PRM was further used to explore farmers' perceptions of animal species causing crop damage and the results of this analysis compared with measured crop losses. Baboons (Papio anubis were considered the most problematic species locally but measurements of loss indicate this perceived severity was disproportionately high. In contrast goats (Capra hircus were considered only a moderate risk, yet risk of damage by this species was significant. Surprisingly, for wild pigs (Potamochoerus sp, perceptions of severity were not as high as damage incurred might have predicted, although perceived incidence was greater than recorded frequency of damage events. PRM can assist researchers and practitioners to identify and explore perceptions of the risk of crop damage by wildlife. As this study highlights, simply quantifying crop loss does not determine issues that are important to local people nor the complex relationships between perceived risk factors. Furthermore, as PRM is easily transferable it may contribute to the identification and development of

  4. [Mechanism on biodiversity managing crop diseases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jing; Shi, Zhu-Feng; Gao, Dong; Liu, Lin; Zhu, You-Yong; Li, Cheng-Yun

    2012-11-01

    Reasonable utilization of natural resource and protection of ecological environment is the foundation for implementing agricultural sustainable development. Biodiversity research and protection are becoming an important issue concerned commonly in the world. Crop disease is one of the important natural disasters for food production and safety, and is also one of the main reasons that confine sustainable development of agricultural production. Large-scale deployment of single highly resistant variety results in reduction of agro-biodiversity level. In this case, excessive loss of agro-biodiversity has become the main challenge in sustainable agriculture. Biodiversity can not only effectively alleviate disease incidence and loss of crop production, but also reduce pollution of agricultural ecological environment caused by excessive application of pesticides and fertilizers to the agricultural ecological environment. Discovery of the mechanism of biodiversity to control crop diseases can reasonably guide the rational deployment and rotation of different crops and establish optimization combinations of different crops. This review summarizes recent advances of research on molecular, physiological, and ecological mechanisms of biodiversity managing crop diseases, and proposes some research that needs to be strengthened in the future.

  5. Groundwater quality characterization to protect biodiversity in SADC region (Southern African Development Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Vitale

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The following paper describes the first phase of a study held in the context of the SECOSUD Phase II project, called “Conservation and equitable use of biological diversity in the SADC region (Southern African Development Community, which aims at promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development in the SADC [1]. The Southern African Development Community (SADC is an inter-governmental organization, with 15 member states: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its aim is to increase socio-economic cooperation and integration among the community. It is one of the richest area in terms of biodiversity. The main goal of the Project is to contribute to stop biodiversity loss by supporting the development of conservation strategies. Biodiversity or biological diversity is formally defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD as: “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, among others, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” (UN 1992 Article 2 [2]. Biodiversity is affected by the interaction of multiple drivers and pressures including demographic, economic, socio-political, scientific and technological ones, which are leading to further decline, degradation and loss. The principal pressures on biodiversity include habitat loss and degradation, overexploitation, alien invasive species, climate change and pollution. These pressures are continuing to increase. To use biodiversity and to keep it in a sustainable way, it is necessary to study it, assess its economic value, develop a global strategy and a global network to monitor its status in the biosphere. An important step in developing conservation of biodiversity

  6. Can biodiversity, human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators be linked?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.A. Mainka

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A mission to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity as a contribution to poverty reduction was agreed as part of the Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity, adopted by the Conference of the Parties in 2002. As 2010 draws to a close it is clear that this target will not be met. To continue and build on momentum generated by the 2010 target, the conservation community has been discussing a potential post-2010 framework that again includes explicit reference to the link between human wellbeing and conservation, and also considers the links with human wellbeing and sustainable development. Given this agreement, we reviewed several human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators compared to existing biodiversity status and trends indicators to determine if clear correlations can be found that could be used to track progress in a new framework. We undertook this review at both the global and continental levels. The indicators for protected area and forest cover showed significant positive correlation across all continents. We found a significant negative correlation between changes in protected area (PA cover and tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions released (GHGe between 1990 and 2005 for all the continents. At the global level we found no other correlation across the indicators reviewed. However, we found that correlations between the biodiversity and human wellbeing and sustainable development indicators varied across continents. As the only indicators for which global level correlations exist, we suggest that either protected area coverage or forest cover may be relevant biodiversity indicators for global analyses of biodiversity-human wellbeing or sustainable development relationships, and that the relationship between protected area cover and greenhouse gases could be one indicator for links between biodiversity and sustainable development. More research is needed to better understand factors involved in the

  7. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020—an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet’s surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists. PMID:28350825

  8. Understanding Grief and Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to Content ASCO.org Conquer Cancer Foundation ASCO Journals Donate eNews Signup f Cancer.net on Facebook t Cancer.net on Twitter q Cancer.net on YouTube g Cancer.net on Google Menu Home Types of Cancer Navigating Cancer Care Coping With Cancer Managing Emotions Self-Image and Cancer ...

  9. The value of biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Biodiversity and Climate Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-15

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

  13. Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-08

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

  15. Influence of agricultural biodiversity on dietary diversity of preschool ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Agricultural biodiversity encompasses the variety and variability of plants and animals that are necessary for food production and accessibility. Loss of agricultural biodiversity is taking place at a very high rate in Kenya. Many indigenous species that are not only nutritious, but also adapted to harsh conditions are now ...

  16. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  17. Session A2 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Biodiversity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Management of rangelands for animal products can reduce, maintain or even increase biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity of plants and animals can lead to decreased productivity and income generation from rangelands or can exacerbate the effects of climatic variability and concomitant increased risks for subsistence and ...

  18. Diurnal fluctuation in the number of hypocretin/orexin and histamine producing: Implication for understanding and treating neuronal loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald McGregor

    Full Text Available The loss of specific neuronal phenotypes, as determined by immunohistochemistry, has become a powerful tool for identifying the nature and cause of neurological diseases. Here we show that the number of neurons identified and quantified using this method misses a substantial percentage of extant neurons in a phenotype specific manner. In mice, 24% more hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt neurons are seen in the night compared to the day, and an additional 17% are seen after inhibiting microtubule polymerization with colchicine. We see no such difference between the number of MCH (melanin concentrating hormone neurons in dark, light or colchicine conditions, despite MCH and Hcrt both being hypothalamic peptide transmitters. Although the size of Hcrt neurons did not differ between light and dark, the size of MCH neurons was increased by 15% in the light phase. The number of neurons containing histidine decarboxylase (HDC, the histamine synthesizing enzyme, was 34% greater in the dark than in the light, but, like Hcrt, cell size did not differ. We did not find a significant difference in the number or the size of neurons expressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, in the horizontal diagonal band (HBD during the dark and light conditions. As expected, colchicine treatment did not increase the number of these neurons. Understanding the function and dynamics of transmitter production within "non-visible" phenotypically defined cells has fundamental implications for our understanding of brain plasticity.

  19. Diurnal fluctuation in the number of hypocretin/orexin and histamine producing: Implication for understanding and treating neuronal loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Ronald; Shan, Ling; Wu, Ming-Fung; Siegel, Jerome M

    2017-01-01

    The loss of specific neuronal phenotypes, as determined by immunohistochemistry, has become a powerful tool for identifying the nature and cause of neurological diseases. Here we show that the number of neurons identified and quantified using this method misses a substantial percentage of extant neurons in a phenotype specific manner. In mice, 24% more hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt) neurons are seen in the night compared to the day, and an additional 17% are seen after inhibiting microtubule polymerization with colchicine. We see no such difference between the number of MCH (melanin concentrating hormone) neurons in dark, light or colchicine conditions, despite MCH and Hcrt both being hypothalamic peptide transmitters. Although the size of Hcrt neurons did not differ between light and dark, the size of MCH neurons was increased by 15% in the light phase. The number of neurons containing histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the histamine synthesizing enzyme, was 34% greater in the dark than in the light, but, like Hcrt, cell size did not differ. We did not find a significant difference in the number or the size of neurons expressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, in the horizontal diagonal band (HBD) during the dark and light conditions. As expected, colchicine treatment did not increase the number of these neurons. Understanding the function and dynamics of transmitter production within "non-visible" phenotypically defined cells has fundamental implications for our understanding of brain plasticity.

  20. Recovering biodiversity knowledge

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

    Cambodian¿s civil wars have seriously affected the country¿s agro-biodiversity and the farmers¿ traditional knowledge in this field. The PEDIGREA project aims at conserving on-farm agro-biodiversity conservation and in Cambodia it focuses on vegetable diversity. It tries to link the preservation of

  1. In Defence of Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Archer, Alfred; Burch Brown, Joanna

    2017-01-01

    The concept of biodiversity has played a central role within conservation biology over the last thirty years. Precisely how it should be understood, however, is a matter of ongoing debate. In this paper we defend what we call a classic multidimensional conception of biodiversity. We begin by

  2. A high CO2 -driven decrease in plant transpiration leads to perturbations in the hydrological cycle and may link terrestrial and marine loss of biodiversity: deep-time evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinthorsdottir, Margret; Woodward, F. Ian; Surlyk, Finn; McElwain, Jennifer C.

    2013-04-01

    CO2 is obtained and water vapor simultaneously transpired through plant stomata, driving the water uptake of roots. Stomata are key elements of the Earth's hydrological cycle, since a large part of the evapotranspiration from the surface to the atmosphere takes place via stomatal pores. Plants exercise stomatal control, by adjusting stomatal size and/or density in order to preserve water while maintaining carbon uptake for photosynthesis. A global decrease in stomatal density and/or size causes a decrease in transpiration and has the potential to increase global runoff. Here we show, from 91 fossil leaf cuticle specimens from the Triassic/Jurassic boundary transition (Tr-J) of East Greenland, that both stomatal size and density decreased dramatically during the Tr-J, coinciding with mass extinctions, major environmental upheaval and a negative C-isotope excursion. We estimate that these developmental and structural changes in stomata resulted in a 50-60% drop in stomatal and canopy transpiration as calibrated using a stomatal model, based on empirical measurements and adjusted for fossil plants. We additionally present new field evidence indicating a change to increased erosion and bad-land formation at the Tr-J. We hypothesize that plant physiological responses to high carbon dioxide concentrations at the Tr-J may have increased runoff at the local and perhaps even regional scale. Increased runoff may result in increased flux of nutrients from land to oceans, leading to eutrophication, anoxia and ultimately loss of marine biodiversity. High-CO2 driven changes in stomatal and canopy transpiration therefore provide a possible mechanistic link between terrestrial ecological crisis and marine mass extinction at the Tr-J.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Headwater biodiversity among different levels of stream habitat hierarchy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Göthe, Emma; Friberg, Nikolai; Kahlert, Maria

    2014-01-01

    With the current loss of biodiversity and threats to freshwater ecosystems, it is crucial to identify hot-spots of biodiversity and on which spatial scale they can be resolved. Conservation and management of these important ecosystems needs insight into whether most of the regional biodiversity (i.......e. y-diversity) can be found locally (i.e. high a-diversity) or whether it is distributed across the region (i.e. high b-diversity). Biodiversity patterns of benthic macroinvertebrates and diatoms were studied in 30 headwater streams in five Swedish catchments by comparing the relative contribution...

  5. Biodiversity Loss in the Orion Radio Zoo?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henney, W. J.; García-Díaz, Ma. T.; Kurtz, S. E.

    2001-03-01

    We re-examine radio observations of compact sources in the core of the Orion nebula and find that 70% of the sources correspond to known proplyds. For all of these sources, including many that have been previously classified as variable and non-thermal, the radio flux between 1.5 and 86 Ghz is fully accounted for by thermal free-free emission from the photoevaporation flow. We therefore suggest that many of the proposed Orion FOXES are in fact EIDERS, and that their apparent variability reflects observational difficulties in detecting the lower surface-brightness portions of the proplyds. The PIGs turn out to be extinct in Orion, and the hybrid creatures that we dub PANTHERS (Proplyds Associated with Non-THErmal Radio Sources) remain elusive.

  6. Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Zhou

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF BIODIVERSITY IN

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    losses due to pest and disease attack or unfavourable environmental conditions can be reduced. ... Prospects and challenges biodiversity in small—holder systems 53. It is thought that the subsequent dispersal of .... When measuring genetic diversity on-farm three important aspects should be considered. These.

  10. Combining biodiversity conservation with agricultural intensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tscharntke, T.; Batáry, P.; Clough, Y.; Kleijn, D.; Scherber, C.; Thies, C.; Wanger, T.C.; Westphal, C.

    2012-01-01

    publisher's description There can be little doubt that there are truly colossal challenges associated with providing food, fibre and energy for an expanding world population without further accelerating already rapid rates of biodiversity loss and undermining the ecosystem processes on which we all

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauro, Brook

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Biodiversity at risk under future cropland expansion and intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehoe, Laura; Romero-Muñoz, Alfredo; Polaina, Ester; Estes, Lyndon; Kreft, Holger; Kuemmerle, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Agriculture is the leading driver of biodiversity loss. However, its future impact on biodiversity remains unclear, especially because agricultural intensification is often neglected, and high path-dependency is assumed when forecasting agricultural development-although the past suggests that shock events leading to considerable agricultural change occur frequently. Here, we investigate the possible impacts on biodiversity of pathways of expansion and intensification. Our pathways are not built to reach equivalent production targets, and therefore they should not be directly compared; they instead highlight areas at risk of high biodiversity loss across the entire option space of possible agricultural change. Based on an extensive database of biodiversity responses to agriculture, we find 30% of species richness and 31% of species abundances potentially lost because of agricultural expansion across the Amazon and Afrotropics. Only 21% of high-risk expansion areas in the Afrotropics overlap with protected areas (compared with 43% of the Neotropics). Areas at risk of biodiversity loss from intensification are found in India, Eastern Europe and the Afromontane region (7% species richness, 13% abundance loss). Many high-risk regions are not adequately covered by conservation prioritization schemes, and have low national conservation spending and high agricultural growth. Considering rising agricultural demand, we highlight areas where timely land-use planning may proactively mitigate biodiversity loss.

  13. Collateral biodiversity benefits associated with 'free-market' approaches to sustainable land use and forestry activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koziell, Izabella; Swingland, Ian R

    2002-08-15

    Concern over the ever more rapid and widespread losses of biodiversity has instigated various remedial actions: whether in situ conservation, such as the establishment of protected areas, or ex situ, such as the conservation of germplasm in gene banks. In the past, such activities were funded and managed by the public sector; however, in recent years, public support has declined and this has spawned a growing interest in conservation opportunities that might arise from 'free-market' approaches to sustainable land use and management. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the key framework for articulating policies and actions on biodiversity; however, progress in developing suitable economic and market incentives for biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use has been slow, with activities such as bioprospecting and ecotourism making some, albeit limited, headway. Given the United Nations Framework for Climate Change or United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC's) high profile within the public and private sectors, there is some potential for using it to help advance CBD objectives and provide the much-needed economic incentives for conservation, through some of the market-based mechanisms presented under the Kyoto Protocol. Significant potential lies in the fact that many 'natural' forests and certain other ecosystems are both major stores of carbon and areas of valuable biodiversity. Thus, any attempt at conserving these areas has the potential to yield both carbon and biodiversity benefits. So far, however, the conservation of natural forests is not included in the Kyoto Protocol's definition of sinks. Instead the creation of sinks - through the establishment of fast-growing monocultures - may well lead to biodiversity losses, especially if partly degraded lands are cleared for this purpose. If real progress is to be made, our understanding of the relationship between land use and biodiversity benefits needs to be

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reid, Hannah; Swiderska, Krystyna

    2008-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  16. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; Hal, van J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  17. Biodiversity effects on soil processes explained by interspecific functional dissimilarity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemsbergen, D.A.; Berg, M.P.; Loreau, M.; van Hal, J.R.; Faber, J.H.; Verhoef, H.A.

    2004-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity can have significant impacts on ecosystem functioning, but the mechanisms involved lack empirical confirmation. Using soil microcosms, we show experimentally that functional dissimilarity among detritivorous species, not species number, drives community compositional effects

  18. Grazing and biodiversity: from selective foraging to wildlife habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Wallis de Vries, M.F.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing in low-intensity farming systems is a key aspect in the conservation of Europe's biodiversity, which reaches high levels of species richness in semi-natural grasslands. With the demise of traditional grazing systems, the design of viable low-intensity grazing systems for the future requires a good understanding of grazing impacts on biodiversity. Here, I review various scale-dependent aspects of selective grazing and how they may affect biodiversity. Insects such as butterfl...

  19. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km(2) (4.4%) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km(2) (1.4%) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  20. Wildfires, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity in Tropical Dry Forest in India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmerbeck, Joachim; Fiener, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This review is intended to contribute to the understanding of the interlinkage between wildfire in India's tropical dry forest (TDF) and selected ecosystem services (ES), namely forest provisioning and water regulating services, as well as biodiversity. TDF covers approximately 146,000 km2 (4.4 %) of India, whereas according to the MODIS fire product about 2200 km2 (1.4 %) burns per year. As studies on wildfire effects upon ESs and biodiversity in Indian TDFs are rare we partly transferred findings from other (dry) forest areas to the environmental situation in India. In India (intentionally lit) wildfires have a very important connection to local livelihoods and the availability of non-wood forest products. Very important adverse long-term effects are the deterioration of forest ecosystems and soil degradation. The potential for TDF to regulate hydrological cycles is expected to be greater in the absence of fire than with it. A general judgment on the effect of fire on biodiversity is difficult as it depends on the community and species involved but a loss of biodiversity under regular burnings is apparent. Consequently, forest managers need sound knowledge regarding the interplay of wildfires and ecosystem behavior in general and more specific knowledge regarding the effects on taxa being considered for conservation efforts. Generally, much more research is needed to understand the trade-offs between the short-term benefits gained from forest provisioning services and long-term adverse effects.

  1. Economic Evaluation and Biodiversity Conservation of Animal Genetic Resources

    OpenAIRE

    Roosen, Jutta; Fadlaoui, Aziz; Bertaglia, Marco

    2003-01-01

    Rapidly declining biodiversity has made international and national policies focus on the question of how best to protect genetic resources. Loss of biodiversity does not only concern wildlife, but equally affects agriculturally used species. These species, of foremost importance for the subsistence of humankind, are subject to pressures sometimes similar and sometimes very distinct from those of their wild counterparts. And so are the losses implied by this decline in diversity. This handbook...

  2. Advances in the Understanding of the Genetic Causes of Hearing Loss in Children Inform a Rational Approach to Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, John C; Palumbos, Janice C

    2016-10-01

    Hearing loss represents the most common sensory disability of children. Remarkable advances in the identification of genes underlying nonsyndromic and syndromic hearing loss in just the last 2 decades have led to the ability to determine the specific genetic cause of hearing loss in many children. Surprisingly one gene, GJB2, encoding the protein connexin-26, accounts for about 20 % of sensorineural hearing loss (including in India) and is considered the first tier test in evaluating an infant with unexplained congenital hearing loss. Using the knowledge of the etiology of hearing loss, the authors propose a diagnostic reasoning process for the assessment of a child in the pediatric setting. Second tier testing consists of the multiple gene panels using whole exome sequencing strategies, and is becoming available in some regions of the world including the US. Referral to medical genetics is always a consideration in a child with no explanation for the hearing loss and in families with questions about recurrence risk.

  3. The changing form of Antarctic biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chown, Steven L; Clarke, Andrew; Fraser, Ceridwen I; Cary, S Craig; Moon, Katherine L; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2015-06-25

    Antarctic biodiversity is much more extensive, ecologically diverse and biogeographically structured than previously thought. Understanding of how this diversity is distributed in marine and terrestrial systems, the mechanisms underlying its spatial variation, and the significance of the microbiota is growing rapidly. Broadly recognizable drivers of diversity variation include energy availability and historical refugia. The impacts of local human activities and global environmental change nonetheless pose challenges to the current and future understanding of Antarctic biodiversity. Life in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean is surprisingly rich, and as much at risk from environmental change as it is elsewhere.

  4. Proposed biodiversity conservation areas: gap analysis and spatial prioritization on the inadequately studied Qinghai Plateau, China

    OpenAIRE

    Li,Renqiang; Powers,Ryan; Xu,Ming; Zheng,Yunpu; Zhao,Shujie

    2018-01-01

    Global biodiversity priorities are primarily addressed through the establishment or expansion of conservation areas (CAs). Spatial prioritization of these CAs can help minimize biodiversity loss by accounting for the uneven distribution of biodiversity and conservation considerations (e.g., accessibility, cost, and biodiversity threats). Furthermore, optimized spatial priorities can help facilitate the judicious use of limited conservation resources by identifying cost effective CA designs. H...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Angela Münch; Wolfgang Völkl

    2011-01-01

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

  6. The biodiversity from Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvachi Zambrano, Byron

    2002-01-01

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

  7. Biodiversity and global change

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Funding begets biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. How Should Beta-Diversity Inform Biodiversity Conservation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolar, Jacob B; Gilroy, James J; Kunin, William E; Edwards, David P

    2016-01-01

    To design robust protected area networks, accurately measure species losses, or understand the processes that maintain species diversity, conservation science must consider the organization of biodiversity in space. Central is beta-diversity--the component of regional diversity that accumulates from compositional differences between local species assemblages. We review how beta-diversity is impacted by human activities, including farming, selective logging, urbanization, species invasions, overhunting, and climate change. Beta-diversity increases, decreases, or remains unchanged by these impacts, depending on the balance of processes that cause species composition to become more different (biotic heterogenization) or more similar (biotic homogenization) between sites. While maintaining high beta-diversity is not always a desirable conservation outcome, understanding beta-diversity is essential for protecting regional diversity and can directly assist conservation planning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Cochrane

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Information technology challenges of biodiversity and ecosystems informatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnase, J.L.; Cushing, J.; Frame, M.; Frondorf, A.; Landis, E.; Maier, D.; Silberschatz, A.

    2003-01-01

    Computer scientists, biologists, and natural resource managers recently met to examine the prospects for advancing computer science and information technology research by focusing on the complex and often-unique challenges found in the biodiversity and ecosystem domain. The workshop and its final report reveal that the biodiversity and ecosystem sciences are fundamentally information sciences and often address problems having distinctive attributes of scale and socio-technical complexity. The paper provides an overview of the emerging field of biodiversity and ecosystem informatics and demonstrates how the demands of biodiversity and ecosystem research can advance our understanding and use of information technologies.

  12. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. A conservation agenda for the Pantanal's biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR Alho

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

  14. Data hosting infrastructure for primary biodiversity data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goddard Anthony

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Data hosting infrastructure for primary biodiversity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Data hosting infrastructure for primary biodiversity data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goddard, Anthony; Wilson, Nathan; Cryer, Phil; Yamashita, Grant

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Participation in Biodiversity Conservation: Motivations and Barriers of Australian Landholders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Katie; Cocklin, Chris

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation programs that appeal to landholders' motivations and minimise their barriers to participation may result in both increased uptake rates and improved ecological outcomes. To understand their motivations and barriers to conserve biodiversity, qualitative interviews were conducted with 45 landholders who had participated in…

  18. Children in Nature: Sensory Engagement and the Experience of Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Thomas; Jørgensen, Kari Anne

    2018-01-01

    Given concerns for a severely diminished childhood experience of nature, coupled with alarm for a rapidly diminishing global biodiversity, this article considers the potential for childhood nature experience to be an important part of biodiversity understanding. Findings from two studies are integrated and presented as windows into childhood…

  19. Systems in peril: Climate change, agriculture and biodiversity in Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cocklin, Chris; Dibden, Jacqui

    2009-01-01

    This paper reflects on the interplay amongst three closely linked systems - climate, agriculture and biodiversity - in the Australian context. The advance of a European style of agriculture has imperilled Australian biodiversity. The loss and degradation of biodiversity has, in turn, had negative consequences for agriculture. Climate change is imposing new pressures on both agriculture and biodiversity. From a policy and management perspective, though, it is possible to envisage mitigation and adaptation responses that would alleviate pressures on all three systems (climate, agriculture, biodiversity). In this way, the paper seeks to make explicit the important connections between science and policy. The paper outlines the distinctive features of both biodiversity and agriculture in the Australian context. The discussion then addresses the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity, followed by an overview of how climate change is impacting on both of these systems. The final section of the paper offers some commentary on current policy and management strategies that are targeted at mitigating the loss of biodiversity and which may also have benefits in terms of climate change.

  20. Using Metagenomics to Connect Microbial Community Biodiversity and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes, Lucas William; Braga, Lucas Peres Palma; Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Souza, Dennis Goss de; Silva, Genivaldo Gueiros Zacarias; Tsai, Siu Mui

    2017-01-01

    Microbes constitute about a third of the Earth's biomass and are composed by an enormous genetic diversity. In a majority of environments the microbial communities play crucial roles for the ecosystem functioning, where a drastic biodiversity alteration or loss could lead to negative effects on the environment and sustainability. A central goal in microbiome studies is to elucidate the relation between microbial diversity to functions. A better understanding of the relation diversity-function would increase the ability to manipulate that diversity to improve plant and animal health and also setting conservation priorities. The recent advances in genomic methodologies in microbial ecology have provide means to assess highly complex communities in detail, making possible the link between diversity and the functions performed by the microbes. In this work we first explore some advances in bioinformatics tools to connect the microbial community biodiversity to their potential metabolism and after present some examples of how this information can be useful for a better understanding of the microbial role in the environment.

  1. Engineering novel habitats on urban infrastructure to increase intertidal biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, M G; Blockley, D J

    2009-09-01

    Urbanization replaces natural shorelines with built infrastructure, seriously impacting species living on these "new" shores. Understanding the ecology of developed shorelines and reducing the consequences of urban development to fauna and flora cannot advance by simply documenting changes to diversity. It needs a robust experimental programme to develop ways in which biodiversity can be sustained in urbanized environments. There have, however, been few such experiments despite wholesale changes to shorelines in urbanized areas. Seawalls--the most extensive artificial infrastructure--are generally featureless, vertical habitats that support reduced levels of local biodiversity. Here, a mimic of an important habitat on natural rocky shores (rock-pools) was experimentally added to a seawall and its impact on diversity assessed. The mimics created shaded vertical substratum and pools that retained water during low tide. These novel habitats increased diversity of foliose algae and sessile and mobile animals, especially higher on the shore. Many species that are generally confined to lowshore levels, expanded their distribution over a greater tidal range. In fact, there were more species in the constructed pools than in natural pools of similar size on nearby shores. There was less effect on the abundances of mobile animals, which may be due to the limited time available for recruitment, or because these structures did not provide appropriate habitat. With increasing anthropogenic intrusion into natural areas and concomitant loss of species, it is essential to learn how to build urban infrastructure that can maintain or enhance biodiversity while meeting societal and engineering criteria. Success requires melding engineering skills and ecological understanding. This paper demonstrates one cost-effective way of addressing this important issue for urban infrastructure affecting nearshore habitats.

  2. Marine biodiversity characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boeuf, Gilles

    2011-05-01

    Oceans contain the largest living volume of the "blue" planet, inhabited by approximately 235-250,000 described species, all groups included. They only represent some 13% of the known species on the Earth, but the marine biomasses are really huge. Marine phytoplankton alone represents half the production of organic matter on Earth while marine bacteria represent more than 10%. Life first appeared in the oceans more than 3.8 billion years ago and several determining events took place that changed the course of life, ranging from the development of the cell nucleus to sexual reproduction going through multi-cellular organisms and the capture of organelles. Of the 31 animal phyla currently listed, 12 are exclusively marine phyla and have never left the ocean. An interesting question is to try to understand why there are so few marine species versus land species? This pattern of distribution seems pretty recent in the course of Evolution. From an exclusively marine world, since the beginning until 440 million years ago, land number of species much increased 110 million years ago. Specific diversity and ancestral roles, in addition to organizational models and original behaviors, have made marine organisms excellent reservoirs for identifying and extracting molecules (>15,000 today) with pharmacological potential. They also make particularly relevant models for both fundamental and applied research. Some marine models have been the source of essential discoveries in life sciences. From this diversity, the ocean provides humankind with renewable resources, which are highly threatened today and need more adequate management to preserve ocean habitats, stocks and biodiversity. Copyright © 2011 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Managing biodiversity for a competitive ecotourism industry in tropical developing countries: New opportunities in biological fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakim, Luchman

    2017-11-01

    Managing biodiversity for sustainable and competitive ecotourism destinations requires a basic understanding of the principles of biology, which are poorly understood in tropical developing countries, including Indonesia. This paper describes the current status of tourism in Indonesia, identifies environment and biodiversity vulnerability in tourism destinations, and explores the challenges of the biological field in supporting ecotourism development. This review found that tourism, especially nature-based and ecotourism, has grown significantly in Indonesia, and the contribution of Indonesian biodiversity has been identified as significant. Threats to biodiversity, however, are found in nature-based tourism destinations. Issues related to pollution, exotic plant species invasion, habitat changes and degradation, habitat loss, and wildlife disturbance are widely reported, indicating the importance of such issues in destination management. Pollution is found in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Water pollution is an important issue among lakes and rivers. To date, there are few assessments of the impact of tourism activities on aquatic ecosystems, resulting in the management of aquatic ecosystems facing numerous difficulties. These studies identify the invasive plants found, which become a crucial problem in many nature-based tourism destinations, and which significantly contribute to a reduction in the existence of many flora-fauna in a wild habitat. Habitat changes and degradation are mostly influenced by tourism infrastructure development. Massive infrastructure development often leads to habitat loss, which is a crucial step in local biodiversity extinction. Increasing and uncontrolled visitor behaviors influence animal behavior changes, which is recognized as a dangerous phenomenon affecting animal survival in the future. An agenda for future integrative biological research is needed to improve resource management, to increase sustainability and the

  4. Snapshots of biodiversity in Georgia agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgia agricultural landscapes are composed of a diversity of commodities. Here we present biodiversity and biotic interaction data from multiple agricultural systems including: cotton, corn, peanut, blueberry and non-cropping wildflower areas over multiple years. Our goal is to better understand t...

  5. The changing form of Antarctic biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Chown, Steven L.; Clarke, Andrew; Fraser, Ceridwen I.; Cary, S. Craig; Moon, Katherine L.; McGeoch, Melodie A.

    2015-01-01

    Antarctic biodiversity is much more extensive, ecologically diverse and biogeographically structured than previously thought. Understanding of how this diversity is distributed in marine and terrestrial systems, the mechanisms underlying its spatial variation, and the significance of the microbiota is growing rapidly. Broadly recognizable drivers of diversity variation include energy availability and historical refugia. The impacts of local human activities and global environmental change non...

  6. Biodiversity of Three Backwaters in the South West Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beslin Leena Grace

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available For the conservation of biodiversity, it is not sufficient to preserve the living organisms or their gametes alone, because keeping fishes in aquaria or their gametes in freezers cannot conserve the full range of biodiversity which is due to the loss of the ecological complexity in their original habitats. For promoting richer biodiversity in the future, more complexity in biological communities is essential in their natural environments. In order to prevent depletion of biodiversity due to environmental alterations or other ways, it is necessary to understand how the diversity of life particularly at the species level is maintained and it is equally necessary to know how the terminal extinction of species takes place under natural conditions. Moreover, a database on fishery resources of the concerned environment is essential to make decision about specific programmes on conservation of fish germplasm resources. Hence, the present study aims to quantify the fish and shellfish resources of the selected backwaters such as Kadinamkulam, Veli, and Poonthura to know the real stocks present in such environments.

  7. Geostatistical Approach to Find ‘Hotspots’ Where Biodiversity is at Risk in a Transition Country

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrişor Alexandru-Ionuţ

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Global change‟ is a relatively recent concept, related to the energy - land use - climate change nexus, and designated to include all changes produced by the human species and the consequences of its activities over natural ecological complexes and biodiversity. The joint effects of these drivers of change are particularly relevant to understanding the changes of biodiversity. This study overlaps results of previous studies developed in Romania to find, explain and predict potential threats on biodiversity, including the effects of very high temperatures and low precipitations, urban sprawl and deforestation in order to identify „hotspots‟ of high risk for the loss of biodiversity using geostatistical tools. The results found two hotspots, one in the center and the other one in the south, and show that the area affected by three factors simultaneously represents 0.2% of the national territory, while paired effects cover 4% of it. The methodological advantage of this approach is its capacity to pinpoint hotspots with practical relevance. Nevertheless, its generalizing character impairs its use at the local scale..

  8. The biodiversity hypothesis and allergic disease: world allergy organization position statement

    OpenAIRE

    Haahtela, Tari; Holgate, Stephen; Pawankar, Ruby; Akdis, Cezmi A; Benjaponpitak, Suwat; Caraballo, Luis; Demain, Jeffrey; Portnoy, Jay; von Hertzen, Leena

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity loss and climate change secondary to human activities are now being associated with various adverse health effects. However, less attention is being paid to the effects of biodiversity loss on environmental and commensal (indigenous) microbiotas. Metagenomic and other studies of healthy and diseased individuals reveal that reduced biodiversity and alterations in the composition of the gut and skin microbiota are associated with various inflammatory conditions, including asthma, a...

  9. Marine biodiversity in Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz, Juan Manuel

    2002-01-01

    One decade ago, the seas and oceans were considered biologically less diverse that the terrestrial environment. Now it is known that it is on the contrary; 33 of the 34 categories of animals (phylum), they are represented in the sea, compared with those solely 15 that exist in earth. The investigation about the diversity of life in the sea has been relatively scorned, but there are big benefits that we can wait if this is protected. The captures of fish depend on it; the species captured by the fisheries are sustained of the biodiversity of their trophic chains and habitats. The marine species are probably the biggest reservoir of chemical substances that can be used in pharmaceutical products. The genetic material of some species can be useful in biotechnical applications. The paper treats topics like the current state of the knowledge in marine biodiversity and it is done a diagnostic of the marine biodiversity in Colombia

  10. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: Effects of linguistic complexity, task, age and hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherri L. Smith

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS, a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners’ auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure, and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group. There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

  11. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sherri L; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners' auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

  12. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sherri L.; Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners’ auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding. PMID:26441769

  13. Beaver dams maintain fish biodiversity by increasing habitat heterogeneity throughout a low-gradient stream network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph M.; Mather, Martha E.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between heterogeneity and biodiversity is an active focus of ecological research. Although habitat heterogeneity is conceptually linked to biodiversity, the amount and configuration of heterogeneity that maintains biodiversity within ecosystems is not well understood, especially for an entire stream network.

  14. The circumpolar biodiversity monitoring program - Terrestrial plan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program, CBMP, Terrestrial Plan, www.caff.is/terrestrial, is a framework to focus and coordinate monitoring of terrestrial biodiversity across the Arctic. The goal of the plan is to improve the collective ability of Arctic traditional knowledge (TK) holders......, northern communities, and scientists to detect, understand and report on long-term change in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. This presentation will outline the key management questions the plan aims to address and the proposed nested, multi-scaled approach linking targeted, research based...... monitoring with survey-based monitoring and remotely sensed data. The CBMP Terrestrial Plan intends to build upon and expand existing monitoring networks, engaging participants across a range of capacity and interests. The presentation will summarize the recommended focal soil ecosystem components...

  15. Biodiversity analysis in the digital era

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores what the virtual biodiversity e-infrastructure will look like as it takes advantage of advances in ‘Big Data’ biodiversity informatics and e-research infrastructure, which allow integration of various taxon-level data types (genome, morphology, distribution and species interactions) within a phylogenetic and environmental framework. By overcoming the data scaling problem in ecology, this integrative framework will provide richer information and fast learning to enable a deeper understanding of biodiversity evolution and dynamics in a rapidly changing world. The Atlas of Living Australia is used as one example of the advantages of progressing towards this future. Living in this future will require the adoption of new ways of integrating scientific knowledge into societal decision making. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481789

  16. Molecular biodiversity of Red Sea demosponges

    KAUST Repository

    Erpenbeck, Dirk

    2016-01-07

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

  17. Biodiversity and biogeography of the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Womack, Ann M.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.; Green, Jessica L.

    2010-01-01

    The variation of life has predominantly been studied on land and in water, but this focus is changing. There is a resurging interest in the distribution of life in the atmosphere and the processes that underlie patterns in this distribution. Here, we review our current state of knowledge about the biodiversity and biogeography of the atmosphere, with an emphasis on micro-organisms, the numerically dominant forms of aerial life. We present evidence to suggest that the atmosphere is a habitat for micro-organisms, and not purely a conduit for terrestrial and aquatic life. Building on a rich history of research in terrestrial and aquatic systems, we explore biodiversity patterns that are likely to play an important role in the emerging field of air biogeography. We discuss the possibility of a more unified understanding of the biosphere, one that links knowledge about biodiversity and biogeography in the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. PMID:20980313

  18. A comparative gradient approach as a tool for understanding and managing urban ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher G. Boone; Elizabeth Cook; Sharon J. Hall; Marcia L. Nation; Nancy B. Grimm; Carol B. Raish; Deborah M. Finch; Abigail M. York

    2012-01-01

    To meet the grand challenges of the urban century - such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and persistent poverty - urban and ecological theory must contribute to integrated frameworks that treat social and ecological dynamics as interdependent. A socioecological framework that encapsulates theory from the social and ecological sciences will improve understanding...

  19. Biodiversity Conservation through Environmental Education for Sustainable Development - A Case Study from Puducherry, India

    OpenAIRE

    Ramadoss, Alexandar; Poyyamoli, Gopalsamy

    2010-01-01

    Promoting students commitment to protect local biodiversity is an important goal of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in India. The main focus of this Biodiversity education was to expose the complexity of ecosystems and interrelationships between organisms and their environment at local level. Student’s needs to understand and develop skills related to solve various biodiversity problems with reference to local context. In order to develop the Biodiversity consciousness, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roe, Dilys

    2006-10-15

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

  2. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

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

  3. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Protecting natural habitats in priority areas is essential to halt the loss of biodiversity. Yet whether these benefits for biodiversity also yield benefits for human well-being remains controversial. Here we assess the potential human well-being benefits of safeguarding a global network of sites......) benefits to maintenance of human cultural diversity - significantly exceeding those anticipated from randomly selected sites within the same countries and ecoregions. Results suggest that safeguarding sites important for biodiversity conservation provides substantial benefits to human well-being....

  5. A Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard: Addressing Challenges to Monitoring Progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets Using Disaggregated Global Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuemei Han

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

  8. Response of Stream Biodiversity to Increasing Salinization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, C. P.; Vander Laan, J. J.; Olson, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    We used a large data set of macroinvertebrate samples collected from streams in both reference-quality (n = 68) and degraded (n = 401) watersheds in the state of Nevada, USA to assess relationships between stream biodiversity and salinity. We used specific electrical conductance (EC)(μS/cm) as a measure of salinity, and applied a previously developed EC model to estimate natural, baseflow salinity at each stream. We used the difference between observed and predicted salinity (EC-Diff) as a measure of salinization associated with watershed degradation. Observed levels of EC varied between 22 and 994 μS/cm across reference sites and 22 to 3,256 uS/cm across non-reference sites. EC-Diff was as high as 2,743 μS/cm. We used a measure of local biodiversity completeness (ratio of observed to expected number of taxa) to assess ecological response to salinity. This O/E index decreased nearly linearly up to about 25% biodiversity loss, which occurred at EC-Diff of about 300 μS/cm. Too few sites had EC-Diff greater than 300 μS/cm to draw reliable inferences regarding biodiversity response to greater levels of salinization. EC-Diff increased with % agricultural land use, mine density, and % urban land use in the watersheds implying that human activities have been largely responsible for increased salinization in Nevada streams and rivers. Comparison of biological responses to EC and other stressors indicates that increased salinization may be the primary stressor causing biodiversity loss in these streams and that more stringent salinity water quality standards may be needed to protect aquatic life.

  9. Caribbean landscapes and their biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Forecasting the future of biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Deforestation and threats to the biodiversity of Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, I C G; Toledo, P M; Silva, J M C; Higuchi, H

    2008-11-01

    This is a review of the main factors currently perceived as threats to the biodiversity of Amazonia. Deforestation and the expansion of the agricultural frontier go hand in hand within the context of occupation and land use in the region, followed by a hasty process of industrialization since the 1950s and, more recently, by a nation-wide attempt to adapt Brazil to economic globalization. Intensive agriculture and cattle-raising, lack of territorial planning, the monoculture of certain crops often promoted by official agencies, and the introduction of exotic species by cultivation are some of the factors affecting Amazonian biodiversity. There are still large gaps in knowledge that need to be dealt with for a better understanding of the local ecosystems so as to allow their preservation, but such investigation is subjected to manifold hindrances by misinformation, disinformation and sheer ignorance from the legal authorities and influential media. Data available for select groups of organisms indicate that the magnitude of the loss and waste of natural resources associated with deforestation is staggering, with estimated numbers of lost birds and primates being over ten times that of such animals illegally commercialized around the world in one year. The challenges to be met for an eventual reversal of this situation demand more systematic and concerted studies, the consolidation of new and existing research groups, and a call for a halt to activities depleting the Amazonian rainforest.

  12. Deforestation and threats to the biodiversity of Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ICG. Vieira

    Full Text Available This is a review of the main factors currently perceived as threats to the biodiversity of Amazonia. Deforestation and the expansion of the agricultural frontier go hand in hand within the context of occupation and land use in the region, followed by a hasty process of industrialization since the 1950s and, more recently, by a nation-wide attempt to adapt Brazil to economic globalization. Intensive agriculture and cattle-raising, lack of territorial planning, the monoculture of certain crops often promoted by official agencies, and the introduction of exotic species by cultivation are some of the factors affecting Amazonian biodiversity. There are still large gaps in knowledge that need to be dealt with for a better understanding of the local ecosystems so as to allow their preservation, but such investigation is subjected to manifold hindrances by misinformation, disinformation and sheer ignorance from the legal authorities and influential media. Data available for select groups of organisms indicate that the magnitude of the loss and waste of natural resources associated with deforestation is staggering, with estimated numbers of lost birds and primates being over ten times that of such animals illegally commercialized around the world in one year. The challenges to be met for an eventual reversal of this situation demand more systematic and concerted studies, the consolidation of new and existing research groups, and a call for a halt to activities depleting the Amazonian rainforest.

  13. The relationship between tree biodiversity and biomass dynamics changes with tropical forest succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasky, Jesse R; Uriarte, María; Boukili, Vanessa K; Erickson, David L; John Kress, W; Chazdon, Robin L

    2014-09-01

    Theory predicts shifts in the magnitude and direction of biodiversity effects on ecosystem function (BEF) over succession, but this theory remains largely untested. We studied the relationship between aboveground tree biomass dynamics (Δbiomass) and multiple dimensions of biodiversity over 8-16 years in eight successional rainforests. We tested whether successional changes in diversity-Δbiomass correlations reflect predictions of niche theories. Diversity-Δbiomass correlations were positive early but weak later in succession, suggesting saturation of niche space with increasing diversity. Early in succession, phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity in two leaf traits exhibited the strongest positive correlations with Δbiomass, indicating complementarity or positive selection effects. In mid-successional stands, high biodiversity was associated with greater mortality-driven biomass loss, i.e. negative selection effects, suggesting successional niche trade-offs and loss of fast-growing pioneer species. Our results demonstrate that BEF relationships are dynamic across succession, thus successional context is essential to understanding BEF in a given system. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Comparative genomics for biodiversity conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine E. Grueber

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Genomic approaches are gathering momentum in biology and emerging opportunities lie in the creative use of comparative molecular methods for revealing the processes that influence diversity of wildlife. However, few comparative genomic studies are performed with explicit and specific objectives to aid conservation of wild populations. Here I provide a brief overview of comparative genomic approaches that offer specific benefits to biodiversity conservation. Because conservation examples are few, I draw on research from other areas to demonstrate how comparing genomic data across taxa may be used to inform the characterisation of conservation units and studies of hybridisation, as well as studies that provide conservation outcomes from a better understanding of the drivers of divergence. A comparative approach can also provide valuable insight into the threatening processes that impact rare species, such as emerging diseases and their management in conservation. In addition to these opportunities, I note areas where additional research is warranted. Overall, comparing and contrasting the genomic composition of threatened and other species provide several useful tools for helping to preserve the molecular biodiversity of the global ecosystem.

  15. On the Quasi-Option Value of Biodiversity and Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weikard, H.P.

    2002-01-01

    In recent years many programmes have been set up to tackle biodiversity loss. Since the loss of species is irreversible and their value is largely unknown, conservation measures have a quasi-option value in the sense of Arrow and Fisher (1974). The paper explores the decision problem of a nature

  16. A biodiversity-crisis hierarchy to evaluate and refine conservation indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Don A; Bland, Lucie M; Bryan, Brett A; Newsome, Thomas M; Nicholson, Emily; Ritchie, Euan G; Doherty, Tim S

    2018-03-26

    The Convention on Biological Diversity and its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 form the central pillar of the world's conservation commitment, with 196 signatory nations; yet its capacity to reign in catastrophic biodiversity loss has proved inadequate. Indicators suggest that few of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi targets that aim to reduce biodiversity loss will be met by 2020. While the indicators have been criticized for only partially representing the targets, a bigger problem is that the indicators do not adequately draw attention to and measure all of the drivers of the biodiversity crisis. Here, we show that many key drivers of biodiversity loss are either poorly evaluated or entirely lacking indicators. We use a biodiversity-crisis hierarchy as a conceptual model linking drivers of change to biodiversity loss to evaluate the scope of current indicators. We find major gaps related to monitoring governments, human population size, corruption and threat-industries. We recommend the hierarchy is used to develop an expanded set of indicators that comprehensively monitor the human behaviour and institutions that drive biodiversity loss and that, so far, have impeded progress towards achieving global biodiversity targets.

  17. Interactive Effects of Nitrogen and Climate Change on Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hadgu Meles, K.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, David A; Warburton, Bruce

    2015-02-01

    Compensating for biodiversity losses in 1 location by conserving or restoring biodiversity elsewhere (i.e., biodiversity offsetting) is being used increasingly to compensate for biodiversity losses resulting from development. We considered whether a form of biodiversity offsetting, enhancement offsetting (i.e., enhancing the quality of degraded natural habitats through intensive ecological management), can realistically secure additional funding to control biological invaders at a scale and duration that results in enhanced biodiversity outcomes. We suggest that biodiversity offsetting has the potential to enhance biodiversity values through funding of invasive species control, but it needs to meet 7 key conditions: be technically possible to reduce invasive species to levels that enhance native biodiversity; be affordable; be sufficiently large to compensate for the impact; be adaptable to accommodate new strategic and tactical developments while not compromising biodiversity outcomes; acknowledge uncertainties associated with managing pests; be based on an explicit risk assessment that identifies the cost of not achieving target outcomes; and include financial mechanisms to provide for in-perpetuity funding. The challenge then for conservation practitioners, advocates, and policy makers is to develop frameworks that allow for durable and effective partnerships with developers to realize the full potential of enhancement offsets, which will require a shift away from traditional preservation-focused approaches to biodiversity management. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Potential biodiversity benefits from international programs to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siikamäki, Juha; Newbold, Stephen C

    2012-01-01

    Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide emissions and options for its reduction are integral to climate policy. In addition to providing potentially low cost and near-term options for reducing global carbon emissions, reducing deforestation also could support biodiversity conservation. However, current understanding of the potential benefits to biodiversity from forest carbon offset programs is limited. We compile spatial data on global forest carbon, biodiversity, deforestation rates, and the opportunity cost of land to examine biodiversity conservation benefits from an international program to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation. Our results indicate limited geographic overlap between the least-cost areas for retaining forest carbon and protecting biodiversity. Therefore, carbon-focused policies will likely generate substantially lower benefits to biodiversity than a more biodiversity-focused policy could achieve. These results highlight the need to systematically consider co-benefits, such as biodiversity in the design and implementation of forest conservation programs to support international climate policy.

  2. Understanding Dieting and Previous Weight Loss Attempts among Overweight and Obese Participants: Insights into My Body Is Fit and Fabulous at Work Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Tengku Alina Tengku; Jalil, Rohana Abdul; Wan Ishak, Wan Rosli; Hamid, Noor Fadzlina; Wan Nik, Wan Suriati; Jan Mohamed, Hamid Jan; Mohd, Nor Haslina; Arifin, Wan Nor; Mohamed, Wan Mohd Izani Wan; Ibrahim, Mohd Ismail; Ismail, Rohaida; Hassim, Tengku Fatimatul Tengku; Aris, Tahir; Wan Muda, Wan Manan

    2018-01-01

    A qualitative study providing an in-depth exploration of people's view and the increasing burden of overweight and obesity is required. This study aimed to explore the understanding of dieting and previous experiences on weight loss attempts among overweight and obese government employees in Kelantan, Malaysia, prior to recruitment into the intervention program. Thirteen focus group discussions involving 129 participants from a weight-loss intervention program were conducted within the first 1 month of recruitment. These discussions were moderated by two trained researchers in the Malay language and assisted by an interview guide. They were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was performed, and codes and themes from each discussion were constructed. The participants understood dieting with various meanings, including skipping meals and removing rice from daily diets. They applied numerous methods to lose weight and achieved various outcomes. Health and appearance, social support, and compliance with current trends were the factors motivating these participants to lose weight. Their determination to lose weight was limited by lack of self-control and motivation, experiences of unpleasant effects, influence on weight, and environmental and health factors. Real-life weight loss experiences and perceptions provided relevant insights into current weight loss management strategies. Some of these issues and misunderstandings should be emphasized in weight loss strategies during health promotion.

  3. Energy mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity: Synergies and antagonisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berry, P M; Paterson, J S

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we review the current impacts of different energy producers (and energy conservation) on biodiversity and investigate the potential for achieving positive biodiversity effects along with mitigation and adaptation objectives. Very few energy producers achieve all three aims - although it may be possible with careful choice of location and management. In some instances, energy conservation can provide mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity benefits. There is still a gap in knowledge regarding the effects of newer energy technologies on biodiversity. There is an additional concern that many supposedly 'green' renewable energy projects may actually harm biodiversity to such a degree that their overall human benefits are negated. The increasing understanding that ecosystem services are vital for human well-being though means that attempting positive mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the energy sector should be an imperative goal for international policy. Whilst research into synergies between mitigation and adaptation is established, there has been very little that has examined the impacts on biodiversity as well. Further work is required to identify and provide evidence of the best ways of optimising mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity in the energy sector.

  4. Educating for preserving biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Méndez, I. E.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... and (ii) genus- and family-level data for invertebrates (when available). We used three distinct species data sets for sub-Saharan Africa, Denmark and Uganda, which cover different spatial scales, biogeographic regions and taxa (vertebrates, invertebrates and plants). 3. We found that networks of priority...

  6. Complex contexts and dynamic drivers: Understanding four decades of forest loss and recovery in an East African protected area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sassen, M.; Sheil, D.; Giller, K.E.; Braak, ter C.J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Protected forests are sometimes encroached by surrounding communities. But patterns of cover change can vary even within one given setting – understanding these complexities can offer insights into the effective maintenance of forest cover. Using satellite image analyses together with historical

  7. Understanding and building upon effort to return to work for people with long-term disability and job loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, S L; MacEachen, E; Nedelec, B

    2015-01-01

    Effort is a concept that underlies programs assisting people with work disability to re-enter the labour force. During re-entry, attention is paid to the effort invested by the worker with an injury. However, for those with chronic work disability, the motivation to return to work (RTW) may be questioned by benefit service providers and healthcare professionals. The objective of this paper is to describe the efforts made by people with long term work-disability to regain a foothold on the labour market. This phenomenological study explored the meaning of work for people with long-term work disability and job loss. Twenty-seven interviews were conducted with nine participants. A thematic analysis was completed of the collected data. A key finding of this study is the variety and degree of effort exerted by participants to regain employment, despite time away from the workplace and system barriers. Effort was exerted to retain pre-accident employment; to obtain new work following job loss; and, to remain in a new job. This study suggests that if the RTW effort of people with long-term work disability is not fully acknowledged or supported, this population will remain unemployed where their strengths as competent, experienced workers will continue to be wasted.

  8. European mountain biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

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

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

  9. The value of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CJR. Alho

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

  10. The value of biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

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

  11. Biodiversity, globalisation and poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olorode, Omotoye

    2007-06-10

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

  12. An approach to understanding tribological behaviour of dental composites through volumetric wear loss and wear mechanism determination; beyond material ranking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altaie, Asmaa; Bubb, Nigel L; Franklin, Paul; Dowling, Adam H; Fleming, Garry J P; Wood, David J

    2017-04-01

    To investigate the fundamental wear mechanisms of six resin-based composite (RBC) formulations during short-term in vitro wear testing. RBC materials were condensed into rectangular bar-shaped specimens and light irradiated using the ISO 4049 specimen manufacture and irradiation protocol. Wear testing (n=10 specimens for each RBC) was performed on a modified pin-on-plate wear test apparatus and wear facets were analysed for wear volume loss using a white light profilometer. The wear tested RBC specimens and their corresponding antagonists were analysed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), respectively to determine the wear mechanism. Data generated using the profilometer showed variations in the mean total wear volume (mm 3 ) between the RBCs tested (ptribology of the system rather than relying on a simple wear ranking for the RBC materials as is routinely the case in dental research studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Furthering the understanding of olfaction, prevalence of loss of smell and risk factors: a population-based survey (OLFACAT study)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullol, Joaquim; Alobid, Isam; Mariño-Sánchez, Franklin; Quintó, Llorenç; de Haro, Josep; Bernal-Sprekelsen, Manuel; Valero, Antonio; Picado, Cèsar; Marin, Concepció

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To investigate olfaction in general population, prevalence of olfactory dysfunction and related risk factors. Design Cross-sectional population-based survey, distributing four microencapsulated odorants (rose, banana, musk and gas) and two self-administered questionnaires (odour description; epidemiology/health status). Setting The survey was distributed to general population through a bilingual (Catalan, Spanish) newspaper in Catalonia (Spain), on December 2003. Participants Newspaper readers of all ages and gender; 9348 surveys were analysed from the 10 783 returned. Main outcome measures Characteristics of surveyed population, olfaction by age and gender, smell self-perception and smell impairment risk factors. Terms normosmia, hyposmia and anosmia were used when participants detected, recognised or identified all four, one to three or none of the odours, respectively. Results Survey profile was a 43-year-old woman with medium–high educational level, living in a city. Olfaction was considered normal in 80.6% (detection), 56% (recognition/memory) and 50.7% (identification). Prevalence of smell dysfunction was 19.4% for detection (0.3% anosmia, 19.1% hyposmia), 43.5% for recognition (0.2% anosmia, 43.3% hyposmia) and 48.8% for identification (0.8% anosmia, 48% hyposmia). Olfaction was worse (polfactory self-perception for detection; low educational level, poor self-perception and pregnancy for recognition; and older age, poor self-perception and history of head trauma and loss of smell for identification. Smoking and exposure to noxious substances were mild protective factors for smell recognition. Conclusions Sense of smell in women is better than in men suggesting a learning process during life with deterioration in older ages. Poor self-perception, history of smell loss, head trauma and pregnancy are potential risk factors for olfactory disorders. PMID:23135536

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Carolyn

    2012-03-01

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

  16. Agriculture and biodiversity: a better balance benefits both

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Willem Erisman

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable agriculture is an important component of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon by the UN in 2015 (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs. However, the trend in agriculture is moving in the opposite, non-sustainable direction. Agriculture is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss. Next to biodiversity loss due to habitat destruction by conversion of natural lands into agriculture, intensification of agriculture has led to a strong decline of specific farmland biodiversity. Furthermore, many agricultural landscapes face pollution by pesticides and fertilizers, and encounter depleted soils and erosion due to unsustainable farming practices. This is threatening not only biodiversity but also complete ecosystems and the ecosystem services on which agriculture itself depends. Moreover, the pressure of feeding an increasing number of people in combination with a change in diets towards more animal protein puts a lot of additional pressure on the current available agricultural lands and nature areas.We propose a holistic approach that contributes to the development and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices that both make use and support biodiversity and ecosystem services both in agricultural and in semi-natural areas. An agricultural system based on the full potential of (functional agro biodiversity provides opportunities to create a resilient system in which both food production and nature can thrive.

  17. A macroecological theory of microbial biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, William R; Locey, Kenneth J; Lennon, Jay T

    2017-04-03

    Microorganisms are the most abundant, diverse and functionally important organisms on Earth. Over the past decade, microbial ecologists have produced the largest ever community datasets. However, these data are rarely used to uncover law-like patterns of commonness and rarity, test theories of biodiversity, or explore unifying explanations for the structure of microbial communities. Using a global scale compilation of >20,000 samples from environmental, engineered and host-related ecosystems, we test the power of competing theories to predict distributions of microbial abundance and diversity-abundance scaling laws. We show that these patterns are best explained by the synergistic interaction of stochastic processes that are captured by lognormal dynamics. We demonstrate that lognormal dynamics have predictive power across scales of abundance, a criterion that is essential to biodiversity theory. By understanding the multiplicative and stochastic nature of ecological processes, scientists can better understand the structure and dynamics of Earth's largest and most diverse ecological systems.

  18. Phosphorus nutrition of phosphorus-sensitive Australian native plants: threats to plant communities in a global biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambers, Hans; Ahmedi, Idriss; Berkowitz, Oliver; Dunne, Chris; Finnegan, Patrick M; Hardy, Giles E St J; Jost, Ricarda; Laliberté, Etienne; Pearse, Stuart J; Teste, François P

    2013-01-01

    South-western Australia harbours a global biodiversity hotspot on the world's most phosphorus (P)-impoverished soils. The greatest biodiversity occurs on the most severely nutrient-impoverished soils, where non-mycorrhizal species are a prominent component of the flora. Mycorrhizal species dominate where soils contain slightly more phosphorus. In addition to habitat loss and dryland salinity, a major threat to plant biodiversity in this region is eutrophication due to enrichment with P. Many plant species in the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are extremely sensitive to P, due to a low capability to down-regulate their phosphate-uptake capacity. Species from the most P-impoverished soils are also very poor competitors at higher P availability, giving way to more competitive species when soil P concentrations are increased. Sources of increased soil P concentrations include increased fire frequency, run-off from agricultural land, and urban activities. Another P source is the P-fertilizing effect of spraying natural environments on a landscape scale with phosphite to reduce the impacts of the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which itself is a serious threat to biodiversity. We argue that alternatives to phosphite for P. cinnamomi management are needed urgently, and propose a strategy to work towards such alternatives, based on a sound understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms of the action of phosphite in plants that are susceptible to P. cinnamomi. The threats we describe for the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are likely to be very similar for other P-impoverished environments, including the fynbos in South Africa and the cerrado in Brazil.

  19. Look both ways: mainstreaming biodiversity and poverty reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bass, Steve; Roe, Dilys; Smith, Jessica

    2010-10-15

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

  20. Overlooked Mountain Rock Pools in Deserts Are Critical Local Hotspots of Biodiversity

    OpenAIRE

    Vale, C?ndida Gomes; Pimm, Stuart L.; Brito, Jos? Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Background The world is undergoing exceptional biodiversity loss. Most conservation efforts target biodiversity hotspots at large scales. Such approach overlooks small-sized local hotspots, which may be rich in endemic and highly threatened species. We explore the importance of mountain rock pools (gueltas) as local biodiversity hotspots in the Sahara-Sahel. Specifically, we considered how many vertebrates (total and endemics) use gueltas, what factors predict species richness, and which guel...

  1. Relationships between Meiofaunal Biodiversity and Prokaryotic Heterotrophic Production in Different Tropical Habitats and Oceanic Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production a...

  2. Agroecology and biodiversity of the catchment area of Swat River

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmad, H.; Ahmed, R.

    2003-01-01

    Agroecological studies of the of the Swat River catchment area showed that the terrestrial ecosystem of the area is divided into subtropical, humid temperate, cool temperate, cold temperate, subalpine, alpine and cold desert zones. Indicator species along with their altitudinal limits are specified for each zone. Unplanned population growth, agriculture extension, habitat losses, deforestation, environmental pollution and unwise use of natural resources are threats to the natural biodiversity of these zones. Its severity is very evident in the subtropical and humid temperate zones. The losses encountered to the biodiversity of the area under the influence of various anthropogenic stresses are highlighted. (author)

  3. Engaging the public in biodiversity issues

    OpenAIRE

    Novacek, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    To engage people in biodiversity and other environmental issues, one must provide the opportunity for enhanced understanding that empowers individuals to make choices and take action based on sound science and reliable recommendations. To this end, we must acknowledge some real challenges. Recent surveys show that, despite growing public concern, environmental issues still rank below many other problems, such as terrorism, health care, the economy, and (in the U.S.) family values. Moreover, m...

  4. Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming

    OpenAIRE

    Mäder, Paul; Fliessbach, Andreas; Dubois, David; Gunst, Lucie; Fried, Padruot; Niggli, Urs

    2002-01-01

    An understanding of agroecosystems is a key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these system...

  5. Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäder, Paul; Fliessbach, Andreas; Dubois, David; Gunst, Lucie; Fried, Padruot; Niggli, Urs

    2002-05-31

    An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.

  6. Experiencing biodiversity as a bridge over the science-society communication gap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinard, Yves; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-06-01

    Drawing on the idea that biodiversity is simply the diversity of living things, and that everyone knows what diversity and living things mean, most conservation professionals eschew the need to explain the many complex ways in which biodiversity is understood in science. On many biodiversity-related issues, this lack of clarity leads to a communication gap between science and the general public, including decision makers who must design and implement biodiversity policies. Closing this communication gap is pivotal to the ability of science to inform sound environmental decision making. To address this communication gap, we propose a surrogate of biodiversity for communication purposes that captures the scientific definition of biodiversity yet can be understood by nonscientists; that is, biodiversity as a learning experience. The prerequisites of this or any other biodiversity communication surrogate are that it should have transdisciplinary relevance; not be measurable; be accessible to a wide audience; be usable to translate biodiversity issues; and understandably encompass biodiversity concepts. Biodiversity as a learning experience satisfies these prerequisites and is philosophically robust. More importantly, it can effectively contribute to closing the communication gap between biodiversity science and society at large. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Stronger tests of mechanisms underlying geographic gradients of biodiversity: insights from the dimensionality of biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard D Stevens

    Full Text Available Inference involving diversity gradients typically is gathered by mechanistic tests involving single dimensions of biodiversity such as species richness. Nonetheless, because traits such as geographic range size, trophic status or phenotypic characteristics are tied to a particular species, mechanistic effects driving broad diversity patterns should manifest across numerous dimensions of biodiversity. We develop an approach of stronger inference based on numerous dimensions of biodiversity and apply it to evaluate one such putative mechanism: the mid-domain effect (MDE. Species composition of 10,000-km(2 grid cells was determined by overlaying geographic range maps of 133 noctilionoid bat taxa. We determined empirical diversity gradients in the Neotropics by calculating species richness and three indices each of phylogenetic, functional and phenetic diversity for each grid cell. We also created 1,000 simulated gradients of each examined metric of biodiversity based on a MDE model to estimate patterns expected if species distributions were randomly placed within the Neotropics. For each simulation run, we regressed the observed gradient onto the MDE-expected gradient. If a MDE drives empirical gradients, then coefficients of determination from such an analysis should be high, the intercept no different from zero and the slope no different than unity. Species richness gradients predicted by the MDE fit empirical patterns. The MDE produced strong spatially structured gradients of taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and phenetic diversity. Nonetheless, expected values generated from the MDE for most dimensions of biodiversity exhibited poor fit to most empirical patterns. The MDE cannot account for most empirical patterns of biodiversity. Fuller understanding of latitudinal gradients will come from simultaneous examination of relative effects of random, environmental and historical mechanisms to better understand distribution and abundance of the

  8. Managing landscape spatio-temporal heterogeneity for biodiversity conservation

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Although the concept of biodiversity emerged 30 years ago, patterns and processes influencing ecological diversity have been studied for more than a century. Historically, ecological processes tended to be considered as occurring in local habitats, spatially homogeneous and temporally at equilibrium. However, the increasing recognition of environmental heterogeneity and its role for biodiversity resulted in the emergence of landscape ecology, whose major goal is to understand how spatial and ...

  9. Understanding the role of soil erosion on co{sub 2}-c loss using {sup 13}c isotopic signatures in abandoned Mediterranean agricultural land

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novara, Agata, E-mail: agata.novara@unipa.it [Department of Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, University of Palermo, viale delle Scienze, ed.4, 90128 Palermo (Italy); Keesstra, Saskia, E-mail: saskia.keesstra@wur.nl [Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708PB Wageningen (Netherlands); Cerdà, Artemio, E-mail: artemio.cerda@uv.es [Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Valencia (Spain); Pereira, Paulo, E-mail: paulo@mruni.eu [Environmental Management Centre, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius (Lithuania); Gristina, Luciano [Department of Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, University of Palermo, viale delle Scienze, ed.4, 90128 Palermo (Italy)

    2016-04-15

    Understanding soil water erosion processes is essential to evaluate the redistribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) within a landscape and is fundamental to assess the role of soil erosion in the global carbon (C) budget. The main aim of this study was to estimate the C redistribution and losses using {sup 13}C natural abundance. Carbon losses in soil sediment, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and CO{sub 2} emission were determined. Four bounded parallel plots were installed on a 10% slope. In the upper part of the plots, C{sub 3}soil was replaced with C{sub 4}soil. The SOC and δ{sup 13}C were measured after 145.2 mm rainfall in the upper (2 m far from C{sub 4}strip), middle (4 m far from C{sub 4}strip) lower (6 m far from C{sub 4}strip) trams of the plot and in the sediments collected in the Gerlach collector at the lower part of the plot. A laboratory incubation experiment was performed to evaluate the CO{sub 2} emission rate of soils in each area. OC was mainly lost in the sediments as 2.08 g{sup −2} of C was lost after 145.2 mm rainfall. DOC losses were only 5.61% of off-site OC loss. Three months after the beginning of the experiment, 15.90% of SOC in the upper tram of the plot had a C{sub 4} origin. The C{sub 4}-SOC content decreased along the 6 m length of the plot, and in the sediments collected by the Gerlach collector. CO{sub 2} emission rate was high in the upper plot tram due to the high SOC content. The discrimination of CO{sub 2} in C{sub 3} and C{sub 4} portion permitted to increase our level of understanding on the stability of SOC and its resilience to decomposition. The transport of sediments along the plot increased SOC mineralization by 43%. Our study underlined the impact of rainfall in C losses in soil and water in abandoned Mediterranean agriculture fields and the consequent implications on the C balance. - Highlights: • The soil C isotopic difference is a useful tracer for erosion processes studies. • The main loss of Carbon was

  10. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. Agriculture, habitat loss and spatial patterns of human occupation in a biodiversity hotspot Agricultura, perda de hábitat e padrões espaciais de ocupação humana em um "hotspot" de biodiversidade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The Cerrado biome, the second largest biome in Neotropical region, consists of a mosaic of different habitat types, ranging from open grasslands to dense woodlands and dry forests. An intensive recent occupation process has transformed it into the most important region for cattle ranching and intensive commodity crops in Brazil. In this study, a macroecological approach was used to evaluate broad-scale spatial patterns of habitat loss in the Brazilian Cerrado, applying a series of spatial autocorrelation and partial regression analyses to understand how the proportion of remaining natural habitats is correlated with socio-economic variables, expressing different dimensions of human occupation and climatic variation. On average, 59% of the area is occupied by natural remnants at the spatial scale analyzed, although patterns of habitat loss are strongly spatially structured, with a Moran's I spatial autocorrelation coefficient equal to 0.825 ± 0.055 (p O bioma Cerrado é o segundo maior da região Neotropical e é formado por mosaico de diferentes tipos de hábitats, desde campos abertos até florestas densas. Um recente e intensivo processo de ocupação humana tem transformado essa eco-região em uma das mais importantes regiões para agropecuária no Brasil. Uma abordagem macroecológica foi utilizada para elucidar padrões em amplas escalas espaciais de perdas de hábitat no Cerrado brasileiro, implementando técnicas de autocorrelação espacial e análises de regressão parcial para entender como a proporção de remanescentes de vegetação natural está correlacionada com variáveis socioeconômicas, expressando diferentes dimensões de ocupação humana e com variações climáticas. Em média, 59% da área é ocupada por remanescentes de vegetação, na escala da análise, mesmo que os padrões de perda de hábitat estejam fortemente estruturados no espaço, com o coeficiente de autocorrelação espacial de I de Moran igual a 0,825 ± 0

  12. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-05-19

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  13. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  14. Evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas for maintaining biodiversity, securing habitats, and reducing threats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geldmann, Jonas

    of this thesis has been to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of protected area in securing biodiversity, by evaluating their ability to either improve conservation responses, the state of biodiversity, or alternatively to reduce the human pressures responsible for the loss of biodiversity. The scope...... already published works. For protected areas ability to reduce habitat loss the evidence is stronger, suggesting that protected areas have been able to reduce the rate of habitat loss compared to a counterfactual scenario. In chapter II we evaluate the different types of methods to assess management...

  15. Understanding the decline and resilience loss of a long-lived social-ecological system: insights from system dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Tenza

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Collapse of social-ecological systems (SESs is a common process in human history. Depletion of natural resources, scarcity of human capital, or both, is/are common pathways toward collapse. We use the system dynamics approach to better understand specific problems of small-scale, long-lived SESs. We present a qualitative (or conceptual model using the conceptualization process of the system dynamics approach to study the dynamics of an oasis in Mexico that has witnessed a dramatic transition to decline in recent decades. We used indepth interviews, participant observation, expert opinions, and official statistical data sets to define the boundaries, and structure in a causal loop diagram of our studied system. We described historical trends and showed the reference mode for the main system variables (observed data, and analyzed the expected system behavior according to the system structure. We identified the main drivers that changed the system structure, as well as structural changes, and the effects of these changes on the dynamics, resilience, and vulnerability of this SES. We found that the tendency of this SES toward collapse was triggered by exogenous factors (growth of modern agriculture in nearby valleys, and socio-political relocation, and was maintained by an endogenous structure. These structural changes weakened the resilience of this SES. One of these changes resulted in a long-term maladaptation of the SES, which increased its vulnerability to frequent system disturbances (hurricanes and droughts. The conceptual model developed provides an in-depth qualitative description of the system, with an important amount of qualitative and quantitative information, to establish the structural hypothesis of the observed behavior. Using this qualitative model, the next research steps are to develop a quantitative model to test the qualitative theories, and to explore future scenarios of system resilience for decision-making processes to

  16. Are endocrine disruptors among the causes of the deterioration of aquatic biodiversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jin; Cai, Zhong-Hua; Zhu, Xiao-Shan

    2010-07-01

    Exposure to environmental pollutants such as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) is now taken into account to explain partially the biodiversity decline of aquatic ecosystems. Much research has demonstrated that EDCs can adversely affect the endocrine system, reproductive health, and immune function in aquatic species. These toxicological effects include 1) interference with normal hormonal synthesis, release, and transport, 2) impairment of growth, development, and gonadal maturation, and 3) increased sensitivity to environmental stressors. Recent studies also have confirmed that EDCs have carcinogenic and mutagenic potential. In essence, these changes in physiological and biochemical parameters reflect, to some extent, some phenotypic characteristics of the deterioration of aquatic biodiversity. At present, evidence at the molecular level shows that exposure to EDCs can trigger genotoxicity, such as DNA damage, and can reduce genetic diversity. Field studies have also provided more direct evidence that EDCs contribute to the population decrease and biodiversity decline. Evolutionary toxicology and multigenerational toxicity tests have further demonstrated that EDCs can damage an organism's offspring and eventually likely lead to loss of evolutionary potential. Taken together, these results provide some basis for understanding the relationship between variety deterioration and EDC exposure. It is conceivable that there is a causal association between EDC exposure and variety deterioration of aquatic organisms. (c) 2010 SETAC.

  17. Pathways for agriculture and forestry to contribute to terrestrial biodiversity conservation : A global scenario-study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Marcel T.J.; Alkemade, Rob; Bakkenes, Michel; van Eerdt, Martha; Janse, Jan; Mandryk, Maryia; Kram, Tom; Lazarova, Tanya; Meijer, Johan; Oorschot, van, Mark; Westhoek, Henk; Zagt, Roderick; van den Berg, Maurits; Esch, van der, Stefan; Prins, Anne Gerdien; van Vuuren, Detlef P.

    2018-01-01

    If the world stays on its current development path, the state of biodiversity will continue to decline. This is due to projected further increases in pressures, most prominently habitat loss and climate change. In order to reduce these pressures, biodiversity conservation and restoration, as well as

  18. Pathways for agriculture and forestry to contribute to terrestrial biodiversity conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Marcel T.J.; Alkemade, Rob; Bakkenes, Michel; Eerdt, van Martha; Janse, Jan; Mandryk, Maryia; Kram, Tom; Lazarova, Tanya; Meijer, Johan; Oorschot, van Mark; Westhoek, Henk; Zagt, van der Roderick; Berg, van der Maurits; Esch, van der Stefan; Prins, Anne Gerdien; Vuuren, van Detlef P.

    2018-01-01

    If the world stays on its current development path, the state of biodiversity will continue to decline. This is due to projected further increases in pressures, most prominently habitat loss and climate change. In order to reduce these pressures, biodiversity conservation and restoration, as well as

  19. Nature in the metropolis : Mapping biodiversity using metropolitan landscape characterization tools

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tisma, A.; van der Velde, J.R.T.; Nijhuis, S.; Pouderoijen, M.T.

    2014-01-01

    Cities can be planned and designed to reduce their effect on biodiversity loss and may even be able to sustain biodiversity levels in some instances, due to ‘beta-diversity’. The heterogeneity of metropolitan regions can be expected to have a strong impact on beta-diversity. Tools such as landscape

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nüchel, Jonas

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Understanding the role of soil erosion on co2-c loss using (13)c isotopic signatures in abandoned Mediterranean agricultural land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novara, Agata; Keesstra, Saskia; Cerdà, Artemio; Pereira, Paulo; Gristina, Luciano

    2016-04-15

    Understanding soil water erosion processes is essential to evaluate the redistribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) within a landscape and is fundamental to assess the role of soil erosion in the global carbon (C) budget. The main aim of this study was to estimate the C redistribution and losses using (13)C natural abundance. Carbon losses in soil sediment, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and CO2 emission were determined. Four bounded parallel plots were installed on a 10% slope. In the upper part of the plots, C3soil was replaced with C4soil. The SOC and δ(13)C were measured after 145.2mm rainfall in the upper (2m far from C4strip), middle (4m far from C4strip) lower (6m far from C4strip) trams of the plot and in the sediments collected in the Gerlach collector at the lower part of the plot. A laboratory incubation experiment was performed to evaluate the CO2 emission rate of soils in each area. OC was mainly lost in the sediments as 2.08g(-)(2) of C was lost after 145.2mm rainfall. DOC losses were only 5.61% of off-site OC loss. Three months after the beginning of the experiment, 15.90% of SOC in the upper tram of the plot had a C4 origin. The C4-SOC content decreased along the 6m length of the plot, and in the sediments collected by the Gerlach collector. CO2 emission rate was high in the upper plot tram due to the high SOC content. The discrimination of CO2 in C3 and C4 portion permitted to increase our level of understanding on the stability of SOC and its resilience to decomposition. The transport of sediments along the plot increased SOC mineralization by 43%. Our study underlined the impact of rainfall in C losses in soil and water in abandoned Mediterranean agriculture fields and the consequent implications on the C balance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The interaction of human population, food production, and biodiversity protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crist, Eileen; Mora, Camilo; Engelman, Robert

    2017-04-21

    Research suggests that the scale of human population and the current pace of its growth contribute substantially to the loss of biological diversity. Although technological change and unequal consumption inextricably mingle with demographic impacts on the environment, the needs of all human beings-especially for food-imply that projected population growth will undermine protection of the natural world. Numerous solutions have been proposed to boost food production while protecting biodiversity, but alone these proposals are unlikely to staunch biodiversity loss. An important approach to sustaining biodiversity and human well-being is through actions that can slow and eventually reverse population growth: investing in universal access to reproductive health services and contraceptive technologies, advancing women's education, and achieving gender equality. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  4. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    Climate change is leading to the development of land-based mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to have substantial impacts on global biodiversity. Of these, approaches to maintain carbon within existing natural ecosystems could have particularly large benefits for biodiversity. However, the geographical distributions of terrestrial carbon stocks and biodiversity differ. Using conservation planning analyses for the New World and Britain, we conclude that a carbon-only strategy would not be effective at conserving biodiversity, as have previous studies. Nonetheless, we find that a combined carbon-biodiversity strategy could simultaneously protect 90% of carbon stocks (relative to a carbon-only conservation strategy) and > 90% of the biodiversity (relative to a biodiversity-only strategy) in both regions. This combined approach encapsulates the principle of complementarity, whereby locations that contain different sets of species are prioritised, and hence disproportionately safeguard localised species that are not protected effectively by carbon-only strategies. It is efficient because localised species are concentrated into small parts of the terrestrial land surface, whereas carbon is somewhat more evenly distributed; and carbon stocks protected in one location are equivalent to those protected elsewhere. Efficient compromises can only be achieved when biodiversity and carbon are incorporated together within a spatial planning process. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  7. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Place prioritization for biodiversity content

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The prioritization of places on the basis of biodiversity content is part of any systematic biodiversity conservation planning process. The place prioritization procedure implemented in the ResNet software package is described. This procedure is primarily based on the principles of rarity and complementarity. Application of the ...

  9. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Operationalizing biodiversity for conservation planning

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biodiversity has acquired such a general meaning that people now find it difficult to pin down a precise sense for planning and policy-making aimed at biodiversity ... Wildlife and Ecology, Tropical Forest Research Centre and the Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre, PO Box 780, Atherton, Queensland, 4883, Australia ...

  11. Biodiversity of the Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Parulekar, A.H.

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

  12. A method for calculating minimum biodiversity offset multipliers accounting for time discounting, additionality and permanence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laitila, Jussi; Moilanen, Atte; Pouzols, Federico M

    2014-11-01

    Biodiversity offsetting, which means compensation for ecological and environmental damage caused by development activity, has recently been gaining strong political support around the world. One common criticism levelled at offsets is that they exchange certain and almost immediate losses for uncertain future gains. In the case of restoration offsets, gains may be realized after a time delay of decades, and with considerable uncertainty. Here we focus on offset multipliers, which are ratios between damaged and compensated amounts (areas) of biodiversity. Multipliers have the attraction of being an easily understandable way of deciding the amount of offsetting needed. On the other hand, exact values of multipliers are very difficult to compute in practice if at all possible. We introduce a mathematical method for deriving minimum levels for offset multipliers under the assumption that offsetting gains must compensate for the losses (no net loss offsetting). We calculate absolute minimum multipliers that arise from time discounting and delayed emergence of offsetting gains for a one-dimensional measure of biodiversity. Despite the highly simplified model, we show that even the absolute minimum multipliers may easily be quite large, in the order of dozens, and theoretically arbitrarily large, contradicting the relatively low multipliers found in literature and in practice. While our results inform policy makers about realistic minimal offsetting requirements, they also challenge many current policies and show the importance of rigorous models for computing (minimum) offset multipliers. The strength of the presented method is that it requires minimal underlying information. We include a supplementary spreadsheet tool for calculating multipliers to facilitate application.

  13. European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krogh (contributor), Paul Henning

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

  14. Bioenergy and biodiversity: Key lessons from the Pan American region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kline, Keith L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Martinelli, Fernanda Silva [UFRRJ/Conservation International Brazil, Seropedica (Brazil); Mayer, Audrey L. [Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States); Medeiros, Rodrigo [Federal Rural Univ. of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F. [Univ. of Campinas, Campinas (Brazil); Sparovek, Gerd [Univ. of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba (Brazil); Walter, Arnaldo [Univ. of Campinas, Campinas (Brazil); Venier, Lisa A. [Canadian Forest Service, Sault Ste. Marie (Canada). Great Lakes Forestry Centre

    2015-06-24

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil, regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land management systems. Lastly, we propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  15. Bioenergy and Biodiversity: Key Lessons from the Pan American Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Keith L; Martinelli, Fernanda Silva; Mayer, Audrey L; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F; Sparovek, Gerd; Walter, Arnaldo; Venier, Lisa A

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land-management systems. We propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  16. Bioenergy and Biodiversity: Key Lessons from the Pan American Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Keith L.; Martinelli, Fernanda Silva; Mayer, Audrey L.; Medeiros, Rodrigo; Oliveira, Camila Ortolan F.; Sparovek, Gerd; Walter, Arnaldo; Venier, Lisa A.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how large-scale bioenergy production can affect biodiversity and ecosystems is important if society is to meet current and future sustainable development goals. A variety of bioenergy production systems have been established within different contexts throughout the Pan American region, with wide-ranging results in terms of documented and projected effects on biodiversity and ecosystems. The Pan American region is home to the majority of commercial bioenergy production and therefore the region offers a broad set of experiences and insights on both conflicts and opportunities for biodiversity and bioenergy. This paper synthesizes lessons learned focusing on experiences in Canada, the United States, and Brazil regarding the conflicts that can arise between bioenergy production and ecological conservation, and benefits that can be derived when bioenergy policies promote planning and more sustainable land-management systems. We propose a research agenda to address priority information gaps that are relevant to biodiversity concerns and related policy challenges in the Pan American region.

  17. Biodiversity in microbial communities: system scale patterns and mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, J Jacob; Crowl, Todd A; Weimer, Bart C; Pfrender, Michael E

    2009-04-01

    The relationship between anthropogenic impact and the maintenance of biodiversity is a fundamental question in ecology. The emphasis on the organizational level of biodiversity responsible for ecosystem processes is shifting from a species-centred focus to include genotypic diversity. The relationship between biodiversity measures at these two scales remains largely unknown. By stratifying anthropogenic effects between scales of biodiversity of bacterial communities, we show a statistically significant difference in diversity based on taxonomic scale. Communities with intermediate species richness show high genotypic diversity while speciose and species-poor communities do not. We propose that in species-poor communities, generally comprising stable yet harsh conditions, physiological tolerance and competitive trade-offs limit both the number of species that occur and the loss of genotypes due to decreases in already constrained fitness. In species-rich communities, natural environmental conditions result in well-defined community structure and resource partitioning. Disturbance of these communities disrupts niche space, resulting in lower genotypic diversity despite the maintenance of species diversity. Our work provides a model to inform future research about relationships between species and genotypic biodiversity based on determining the biodiversity consequences of changing environmental context.

  18. The underestimated biodiversity of tropical grassy biomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-19

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

  19. Rapid acoustic survey for biodiversity appraisal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Sueur

    Full Text Available Biodiversity assessment remains one of the most difficult challenges encountered by ecologists and conservation biologists. This task is becoming even more urgent with the current increase of habitat loss. Many methods-from rapid biodiversity assessments (RBA to all-taxa biodiversity inventories (ATBI-have been developed for decades to estimate local species richness. However, these methods are costly and invasive. Several animals-birds, mammals, amphibians, fishes and arthropods-produce sounds when moving, communicating or sensing their environment. Here we propose a new concept and method to describe biodiversity. We suggest to forego species or morphospecies identification used by ATBI and RBA respectively but rather to tackle the problem at another evolutionary unit, the community level. We also propose that a part of diversity can be estimated and compared through a rapid acoustic analysis of the sound produced by animal communities. We produced alpha and beta diversity indexes that we first tested with 540 simulated acoustic communities. The alpha index, which measures acoustic entropy, shows a logarithmic correlation with the number of species within the acoustic community. The beta index, which estimates both temporal and spectral dissimilarities, is linearly linked to the number of unshared species between acoustic communities. We then applied both indexes to two closely spaced Tanzanian dry lowland coastal forests. Indexes reveal for this small sample a lower acoustic diversity for the most disturbed forest and acoustic dissimilarities between the two forests suggest that degradation could have significantly decreased and modified community composition. Our results demonstrate for the first time that an indicator of biological diversity can be reliably obtained in a non-invasive way and with a limited sampling effort. This new approach may facilitate the appraisal of animal diversity at large spatial and temporal scales.

  20. 'Conservationists' and the 'Local People' in Biodiversity Conservation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies on biodiversity in Africa show its rapid loss and degradation. This is commonly explained with non-sustainable use by local people. Across Africa, extensive systems of protected areas (PAs) have been established to mitigate this trend. Creation of PAs, however, resulted in manifold conflicts with people who depend ...

  1. Natural resource use by agricultural systems : linking biodiversity to poverty

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Hengsdijk, H.; Bindraban, P.S.

    2006-01-01

    Agricultural development is a well-known threat to the conservation of biodiversity and the loss and fragmentation of native habitats. It also is considered to be an important engine of economic development in developing countries. Changes in agricultural production systems might affect directly

  2. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariño Arturo H

    2011-12-01

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

  3. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  4. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-15

    Land use and related pressures have reduced local terrestrial biodiversity, but it is unclear how the magnitude of change relates to the recently proposed planetary boundary ("safe limit"). We estimate that land use and related pressures have already reduced local biodiversity intactness--the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems--beyond its recently proposed planetary boundary across 58.1% of the world's land surface, where 71.4% of the human population live. Biodiversity intactness within most biomes (especially grassland biomes), most biodiversity hotspots, and even some wilderness areas is inferred to be beyond the boundary. Such widespread transgression of safe limits suggests that biodiversity loss, if unchecked, will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. Biodiversity recovery following delta-wide measures for flood risk reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straatsma, Menno W; Bloecker, Alexandra M; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Kleinhans, Maarten G

    2017-11-01

    Biodiversity declined markedly over the past 150 years, with the biodiversity loss in fluvial ecosystems exceeding the global average. River restoration now aims at flood safety while enhancing biodiversity and has had success locally. However, at the scale of large river distributaries, the recovery remained elusive. We quantify changes in biodiversity of protected and endangered species over 15 years of river restoration in the embanked floodplains of an entire river delta. We distinguish seven taxonomic groups and four functional groups in more than 2 million field observations of species presence. Of all 179 fluvial floodplain sections examined, 137 showed an increase in biodiversity, particularly for fast-spreading species. Birds and mammals showed the largest increase, that is, +13 and +3 percentage point saturation of their potential based on habitat. This shows that flood risk interventions were successfully combined with enhancement of biodiversity, whereas flood stage decreased (-24 cm).

  7. The silent mass extinction of insect herbivores in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2009-12-01

    Habitat loss is silently leading numerous insects to extinction. Conservation efforts, however, have not been designed specifically to protect these organisms, despite their ecological and evolutionary significance. On the basis of species-host area equations, parameterized with data from the literature and interviews with botanical experts, I estimated the number of specialized plant-feeding insects (i.e., monophages) that live in 34 biodiversity hotspots and the number committed to extinction because of habitat loss. I estimated that 795,971-1,602,423 monophagous insect species live in biodiversity hotspots on 150,371 endemic plant species, which is 5.3-10.6 monophages per plant species. I calculated that 213,830-547,500 monophagous species are committed to extinction in biodiversity hotspots because of reduction of the geographic range size of their endemic hosts. I provided rankings of biodiversity hotspots on the basis of estimated richness of monophagous insects and on estimated number of extinctions of monophagous species. Extinction rates were predicted to be higher in biodiversity hotspots located along strong environmental gradients and on archipelagos, where high spatial turnover of monophagous species along the geographic distribution of their endemic plants is likely. The results strongly support the overall strategy of selecting priority conservation areas worldwide primarily on the basis of richness of endemic plants. To face the global decline of insect herbivores, one must expand the coverage of the network of protected areas and improve the richness of native plants on private lands.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare E Aslan

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

  9. Effects of Plant Functional Group Loss on Soil Microbial Community and Litter Decomposition in a Steppe Vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunwang Xiao

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Globally, many terrestrial ecosystems are experiencing a rapid loss of biodiversity. Continued improvements in our understanding of interrelationships between plant diversity and soil microbes are critical to address the concern over the consequences of the decline in biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and services. By removing forbs, or grasses, or, to an extreme scenario, both forbs and grasses in a steppe vegetation in Inner Mongolia, we studied how plant functional group (PFG loss affects soil microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA and litter decomposition using a litter-bag method. PFG loss significantly decreased above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC and nitrogen (SMBN, but had no effect on the ratio of SMBC to SMBN. Although the ratio of fungal to bacterial PLFAs remained unaffected, PFG loss significantly reduced the amount of bacterial, fungal, and total PLFAs. PFG loss decreased litter monthly mass loss and decay constant, and such decrease was significant when both forbs and grasses were removed. Our results provide robust evidence that PFG loss in grassland ecosystem can lead to a rapid response of soil microbial activity which may affect litter decomposition and soil nutrient cycling, suggesting that the assessment of plant–microbe interactions in soils is an integral component of ecosystem response to biodiversity loss.

  10. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-05

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

  11. Taking Stock of Biodiversity to Stem Its Rapid Decline

    OpenAIRE

    Butchart, Stuart H. M; Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E. M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M

    2004-01-01

    The rapid destruction of the planet's biodiversity has prompted the nations of the world to set a target of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, we do not yet have an adequate way of monitoring progress towards achieving this target. Here we present a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status (projected relative extinction risk) of all the world's bird species from 1988 to 2004. Red List Indice...

  12. High Speed Rail: Implications for carbon emissions and biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cornet, Yannick; Dudley, Geoffrey; Banister, David

    2017-01-01

    Rail has traditionally been seen as ‘good’ for the environment, as it is fast and efficient with a low carbon footprint. With respect to HS2 in the UK, new environmental debates have arisen over the competing global objectives of reducing the carbon footprint of HSR and the need to maintain and e...... levels of carbon emissions and biodiversity loss....... and enhance local biodiversity and habitat. This paper identifies, measures and comments on the longer term environmental consequences of major infrastructure decisions that have to be made today. Short term pragmatism is seen as the means by which these decisions are made, and this results in issues relating...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shanahan, Mike

    2008-05-15

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

  14. The Netherlands in a sustainable world. Poverty, climate and biodiversity. Second Sustainability Outlook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanemaaijer, A.; De Ridder, W.; Aalbers, T.; Eickhout, B.; Hilderink, H.; Hitman, L.; Manders, T.; Nagelhout, D.; Petersen, A.

    2007-11-01

    Poverty reduction, climate change and biodiversity loss to be tackled as an integrated global problem. The world is too small to simultaneously produce enough food (including meat) for everyone and to deliver biofuels on a large enough scale to slow down climate change and maintain biodiversity. In this report sufficient options for fighting poverty, tackling climate change and limiting the loss of biodiversity are presented and discussed. The costs of these options can be limited to a few percent of GDP in 2040. However this will only be possible with coordinated international policies [nl

  15. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aerts Raf

    2011-11-01

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

  16. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Raf; Honnay, Olivier

    2011-11-24

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

  17. MCBS Sites of Biodiversity Significance

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Biodiversity versus cloning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaramillo T, Jose Hernan

    1998-01-01

    The announcement has been made on the cloning of mice in these days and he doesn't stop to miss, because the world lives a stage where conscience of the protection is creating that should be given to the biodiversity. It is known that alone we won't subsist and the protection of the means and all that contains that environment is of vital importance for the man. But it is also known that the vegetables and animal transgenic that they come to multiply the species have appeared that we prepare. The transgenic has been altered genetically, for substitution of one or more genes of other species, inclusive human genes. This represents an improvement compared with the investigations that gave origin to the cloning animal. But it is necessary to notice that to it you arrived through the cloning. This year 28 million hectares have been sowed in cultivations of transgenic seeds and there is around 700 bovine transgenic whose milk contains a necessary protein in the treatment of the man's illnesses

  20. Filling in biodiversity threat gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Diversity, Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joao Carlos Marques

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank W Larsen

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

  4. The effect of buffer zone width on biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navntoft, Søren; Sigsgaard, Lene; Kristensen, Kristian

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The Interdependence between Biodiversity and Socio-Economic Variables on a Local and Regional Level: Evidence for German Counties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Münch, Angela; Völkl, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    This paper explores possible interdependence of biodiversity and several socioeconomic and political factors at the county level. It is aimed at the empirical identification of direct and indirect effects between biodiversity (loss) and their theoretical major impact factors. To date, research...... of regional socioeconomic structures on biodiversity should not be underestimated. Specifically, in regard to biodiversity loss, the socioeconomic structure determines political measures instituted to protect biodiversity and to change agricultural practice....... shows that in addition to geography, agriculture is one major determinant of biodiversity status. In our analysis of Bavarian counties, we show that low-yield areas with low species abundance tend to attract more grassland farming with a lower degree in the intensity of the farming practice. This result...

  7. Evaluating patterns of biodiversity in managed grasslands using spatial turnover metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erin Questad; Bryan L. Foster; Suneeti Jog; Kelly Kindscher; Hillary Loring

    2011-01-01

    Market and policy incentives that encourage agricultural intensification, such as incentives for bioenergy, may contribute to biodiversity decline when they encourage a large-scale conversion of native and seminatural ecosystems to production fields. In order to appreciate the impact of these incentives on biodiversity, it is imperative to better understand how native...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-10-15

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

  9. Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianguo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Luck, Gary W

    2003-01-30

    Human population size and growth rate are often considered important drivers of biodiversity loss, whereas household dynamics are usually neglected. Aggregate demographic statistics may mask substantial changes in the size and number of households, and their effects on biodiversity. Household dynamics influence per capita consumption and thus biodiversity through, for example, consumption of wood for fuel, habitat alteration for home building and associated activities, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we report that growth in household numbers globally, and particularly in countries with biodiversity hotspots (areas rich in endemic species and threatened by human activities), was more rapid than aggregate population growth between 1985 and 2000. Even when population size declined, the number of households increased substantially. Had the average household size (that is, the number of occupants) remained static, there would have been 155 million fewer households in hotspot countries in 2000. Reduction in average household size alone will add a projected 233 million additional households to hotspot countries during the period 2000-15. Rapid increase in household numbers, often manifested as urban sprawl, and resultant higher per capita resource consumption in smaller households pose serious challenges to biodiversity conservation.

  10. Hidden loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kieffer-Kristensen, Rikke; Johansen, Karen Lise Gaardsvig

    2013-01-01

    finding indicates that the children experienced numerous losses, many of which were often suppressed or neglected by the children to protect the ill parents. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicated that the children seemed to make a special effort to hide their feelings of loss and grief in order to protect...... the ill parent. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the traumatic process of parental ABI that some children experience and emphasize the importance of family-centred interventions that include the children....

  11. Some Implications of High Biodiversity for Management of Tropical Marine Ecosystems—An Australian Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Kenchington

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available While high biodiversity has been widely reported from the tropics, we suggest that in reality there is a considerable underestimate of the total biodiversity. We have concentrated on the tropical regions of Australia and the Coral Triangle. The best known groups are the corals, fish, and commercially important invertebrates. In considering whether this is true, we have concentrated on the diversity of benthic communities and water column communities which are poorly known. Yet at the bottom of the food chain these communities are highly dynamic and susceptible to the anthropogenic changes that are occurring with the rapid development in this highly populated region. Tropical biodiversity is under increasing stress from a synergistic combination of changes in climate, oceanographic regimes, increasing coastal development, overfishing, and poor water quality, resulting in bleaching of corals and loss of habitat and of associated fauna. These changes on reefs have received substantial research attention; in comparison, there is limited data on inter-reefal areas and water column communities and limited understanding of the ecological interconnectivity of all these habitats. While in this region there is growing marine protected area coverage, the major focus is on coral reefs with other habitats based on surrogacy with little if any ground-truthing. Within this region, there is limited capacity or inclination to rectify this lack of knowledge of the structure and ecology of the broader non-commercial benthic and pelagic communities. We suggest this lack of knowledge and limited expertise may be widespread throughout the tropics and compromises our ability to understand and predict the changes that are occurring with increasing anthropogenic impacts on these tropical ecosystems.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosaka, T; Yamada, T; Okuda, T

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The effect of ecosystem biodiversity on virus genetic diversity depends on virus species: A study of chiltepin-infecting begomoviruses in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodelo-Urrego, Manuel; García-Arenal, Fernando; Pagán, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Current declines in biodiversity put at risk ecosystem services that are fundamental for human welfare. Increasing evidence indicates that one such service is the ability to reduce virus emergence. It has been proposed that the reduction of virus emergence occurs at two levels: through a reduction of virus prevalence/transmission and, as a result of these epidemiological changes, through a limitation of virus genetic diversity. Although the former mechanism has been studied in a few host-virus interactions, very little is known about the association between ecosystem biodiversity and virus genetic diversity. To address this subject, we estimated genetic diversity, synonymous and non-synonymous nucleotide substitution rates, selection pressures, and frequency of recombinants and re-assortants in populations of Pepper golden mosaic virus (PepGMV) and Pepper huasteco yellow vein virus (PHYVV) that infect chiltepin plants in Mexico. We then analyzed how these parameters varied according to the level of habitat anthropization, which is the major cause of biodiversity loss. Our results indicated that genetic diversity of PepGMV (but not of PHYVV) populations increased with the loss of biodiversity at higher levels of habitat anthropization. This was mostly the consequence of higher rates of synonymous nucleotide substitutions, rather than of adaptive selection. The frequency of recombinants and re-assortants was higher in PepGMV populations infecting wild chiltepin than in those infecting cultivated ones, suggesting that genetic exchange is not the main mechanism for generating genetic diversity in PepGMV populations. These findings provide evidence that biodiversity may modulate the genetic diversity of plant viruses, but it may differentially affect even two closely related viruses. Our analyses may contribute to understanding the factors involved in virus emergence.

  14. Evolution, plant breeding and biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvatore Ceccarelli

    2011-11-01

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

  15. The major importance of 'minor' resources: Women and plant biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Howard, P.L.

    2003-01-01

    Understanding women’s influence on plant biodiversity is essential to our ability to conserve plant genetic resources, especially those plants that are useful to humans. Contrary to previous thinking, it is becoming clear that women know most about these plants because, throughout history, women’s

  16. The Biodiversity Community Action Project: An STS Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aidin, Amirshokoohi; Mahsa, Kazempour

    2010-01-01

    The Biodiversity Community Action Project is a stimulating and vigorous project that allows students to gain an in-depth understanding of the interconnection between organisms and their environments as well as the connection of science to their lives and society. It addresses key content standards in the National Science Education Standards and…

  17. Protracted speciation revitalizes the neutral theory of biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosindell, James; Cornell, Stephen J.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    Understanding the maintenance and origin of biodiversity is a formidable task, yet many ubiquitous ecological patterns are predicted by a surprisingly simple and widely studied neutral model that ignores functional differences between species. However, this model assumes that new species arise

  18. Landscape moderation of biodiversity patterns and processes - eight hypotheses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tscharntke, T.; Tylianakis, J.M.; Rand, T.A.; Didham, R.K.; Fahrig, L.; Batary, P.; Bengtsson, J.; Clough, Y.; Crist, T.O.; Dormann, C.; Ewers, R.M.; Frund, J.; Holt, R.D.; Holzschuh, A.; Klein, A.M.; Kleijn, D.; Kremen, C.; Landis, D.A.; Laurance, W.F.; Lindenmayer, D.B.; Scherber, C.; Sodhi, N.; Steffan-Dewenter, I.; Thies, C.; Putten, van der W.H.; Westphal, C.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding how landscape characteristics affect biodiversity patterns and ecological processes at local and landscape scales is critical for mitigating effects of global environmental change. In this review, we use knowledge gained from human-modified landscapes to suggest eight hypotheses, which

  19. Working in networks to make biodiversity data more available

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available It became apparent a few decades ago that biodiversity is declining worldwide at nearly unprecedented rates. This poses ethical and self-interested challenges to people, and has triggered renewed efforts to understand the status and trends of what...

  20. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. The biodiversity cost of carbon sequestration in tropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abreu, Rodolfo C R; Hoffmann, William A; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L; Pilon, Natashi A; Rossatto, Davi R; Durigan, Giselda

    2017-08-01

    Tropical savannas have been increasingly viewed as an opportunity for carbon sequestration through fire suppression and afforestation, but insufficient attention has been given to the consequences for biodiversity. To evaluate the biodiversity costs of increasing carbon sequestration, we quantified changes in ecosystem carbon stocks and the associated changes in communities of plants and ants resulting from fire suppression in savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, a global biodiversity hotspot. Fire suppression resulted in increased carbon stocks of 1.2 Mg ha -1 year -1 since 1986 but was associated with acute species loss. In sites fully encroached by forest, plant species richness declined by 27%, and ant richness declined by 35%. Richness of savanna specialists, the species most at risk of local extinction due to forest encroachment, declined by 67% for plants and 86% for ants. This loss highlights the important role of fire in maintaining biodiversity in tropical savannas, a role that is not reflected in current policies of fire suppression throughout the Brazilian Cerrado. In tropical grasslands and savannas throughout the tropics, carbon mitigation programs that promote forest cover cannot be assumed to provide net benefits for conservation.

  3. A decadal view of biodiversity informatics: challenges and priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity informatics plays a central enabling role in the research community's efforts to address scientific conservation and sustainability issues. Great strides have been made in the past decade establishing a framework for sharing data, where taxonomy and systematics has been perceived as the most prominent discipline involved. To some extent this is inevitable, given the use of species names as the pivot around which information is organised. To address the urgent questions around conservation, land-use, environmental change, sustainability, food security and ecosystem services that are facing Governments worldwide, we need to understand how the ecosystem works. So, we need a systems approach to understanding biodiversity that moves significantly beyond taxonomy and species observations. Such an approach needs to look at the whole system to address species interactions, both with their environment and with other species. It is clear that some barriers to progress are sociological, basically persuading people to use the technological solutions that are already available. This is best addressed by developing more effective systems that deliver immediate benefit to the user, hiding the majority of the technology behind simple user interfaces. An infrastructure should be a space in which activities take place and, as such, should be effectively invisible. This community consultation paper positions the role of biodiversity informatics, for the next decade, presenting the actions needed to link the various biodiversity infrastructures invisibly and to facilitate understanding that can support both business and policy-makers. The community considers the goal in biodiversity informatics to be full integration of the biodiversity research community, including citizens’ science, through a commonly-shared, sustainable e-infrastructure across all sub-disciplines that reliably serves science and society alike. PMID:23587026

  4. A decadal view of biodiversity informatics: challenges and priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardisty, Alex; Roberts, Dave; Addink, Wouter; Aelterman, Bart; Agosti, Donat; Amaral-Zettler, Linda; Ariño, Arturo H; Arvanitidis, Christos; Backeljau, Thierry; Bailly, Nicolas; Belbin, Lee; Berendsohn, Walter; Bertrand, Nic; Caithness, Neil; Campbell, David; Cochrane, Guy; Conruyt, Noël; Culham, Alastair; Damgaard, Christian; Davies, Neil; Fady, Bruno; Faulwetter, Sarah; Feest, Alan; Field, Dawn; Garnier, Eric; Geser, Guntram; Gilbert, Jack; Grosche; Grosser, David; Hardisty, Alex; Herbinet, Bénédicte; Hobern, Donald; Jones, Andrew; de Jong, Yde; King, David; Knapp, Sandra; Koivula, Hanna; Los, Wouter; Meyer, Chris; Morris, Robert A; Morrison, Norman; Morse, David; Obst, Matthias; Pafilis, Evagelos; Page, Larry M; Page, Roderic; Pape, Thomas; Parr, Cynthia; Paton, Alan; Patterson, David; Paymal, Elisabeth; Penev, Lyubomir; Pollet, Marc; Pyle, Richard; von Raab-Straube, Eckhard; Robert, Vincent; Roberts, Dave; Robertson, Tim; Rovellotti, Olivier; Saarenmaa, Hannu; Schalk, Peter; Schaminee, Joop; Schofield, Paul; Sier, Andy; Sierra, Soraya; Smith, Vince; van Spronsen, Edwin; Thornton-Wood, Simon; van Tienderen, Peter; van Tol, Jan; Tuama, Éamonn Ó; Uetz, Peter; Vaas, Lea; Vignes Lebbe, Régine; Vision, Todd; Vu, Duong; De Wever, Aaike; White, Richard; Willis, Kathy; Young, Fiona

    2013-04-15

    Biodiversity informatics plays a central enabling role in the research community's efforts to address scientific conservation and sustainability issues. Great strides have been made in the past decade establishing a framework for sharing data, where taxonomy and systematics has been perceived as the most prominent discipline involved. To some extent this is inevitable, given the use of species names as the pivot around which information is organised. To address the urgent questions around conservation, land-use, environmental change, sustainability, food security and ecosystem services that are facing Governments worldwide, we need to understand how the ecosystem works. So, we need a systems approach to understanding biodiversity that moves significantly beyond taxonomy and species observations. Such an approach needs to look at the whole system to address species interactions, both with their environment and with other species.It is clear that some barriers to progress are sociological, basically persuading people to use the technological solutions that are already available. This is best addressed by developing more effective systems that deliver immediate benefit to the user, hiding the majority of the technology behind simple user interfaces. An infrastructure should be a space in which activities take place and, as such, should be effectively invisible.This community consultation paper positions the role of biodiversity informatics, for the next decade, presenting the actions needed to link the various biodiversity infrastructures invisibly and to facilitate understanding that can support both business and policy-makers. The community considers the goal in biodiversity informatics to be full integration of the biodiversity research community, including citizens' science, through a commonly-shared, sustainable e-infrastructure across all sub-disciplines that reliably serves science and society alike.

  5. The taxonomic distinctness of macroinvertebrate communities of Atlantic Forest streams cannot be predicted by landscape and climate variables, but traditional biodiversity indices can.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roque, F O; Guimarães, E A; Ribeiro, M C; Escarpinati, S C; Suriano, M T; Siqueira, T

    2014-11-01

    Predicting how anthropogenic activities may influence the various components of biodiversity is essential for finding ways to reduce diversity loss. This challenge involves: a) understanding how environmental factors influence diversity across different spatial scales, and b) developing ways to measure these relationships in a way that is fast, economical, and easy to communicate. In this study, we investigate whether landscape and bioclimatic variables could explain variation in biodiversity indices in macroinvertebrate communities from 39 Atlantic Forest streams. In addition to traditional diversity measures, i.e., species richness, abundance and Shannon index, we used a taxonomic distinctness index that measures the degree of phylogenetic relationship among taxa. The amount of variation in the diversity measures that was explained by environmental and spatial variables was estimated using variation partitioning based on multiple regression. Our study demonstrates that taxonomic distinctness does not respond in the same way as the traditional used in biodiversity studies. We found no evidence that taxonomic distinctness responds predictably to variation in landscape metrics, indicating the need for the incorporation of predictors at multiple scales in this type of study. The lack of congruence between taxonomic distinctness and other indices and its low predictability may be related to the fact that this measure expresses long-term evolutionary adaptation to ecosystem conditions, while the other traditional biodiversity metrics respond to short-term environmental changes.

  6. Genomic Approaches in Marine Biodiversity and Aquaculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge A Huete-Pérez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in genomic and post-genomic technologies have now established the new standard in medical and biotechnological research. The introduction of next-generation sequencing, NGS,has resulted in the generation of thousands of genomes from all domains of life, including the genomes of complex uncultured microbial communities revealed through metagenomics. Although the application of genomics to marine biodiversity remains poorly developed overall, some noteworthy progress has been made in recent years. The genomes of various model marine organisms have been published and a few more are underway. In addition, the recent large-scale analysis of marine microbes, along with transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to the study of teleost fishes, mollusks and crustaceans, to mention a few, has provided a better understanding of phenotypic variability and functional genomics. The past few years have also seen advances in applications relevant to marine aquaculture and fisheries. In this review we introduce several examples of recent discoveries and progress made towards engendering genomic resources aimed at enhancing our understanding of marine biodiversity and promoting the development of aquaculture. Finally, we discuss the need for auspicious science policies to address challenges confronting smaller nations in the appropriate oversight of this growing domain as they strive to guarantee food security and conservation of their natural resources.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael; Balfors, Berit; Moertberg, Ulla

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  9. Urban lifestyle and urban biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, L. K.; Lyytimäki, J.; Normander, B.

    2007-01-01

    This report is concerned with the relations between lifestyles of urban populations on one hand and protection of biodiversity in urban areas on the other. Urban areas are of importance for the general protection of biodiversity. In the surroundings of cities and within urban sprawls there can...... be important habitats and valuable corridors for both common and less common species. At the same time a comprehensive, functional and viable green structure is important for urban populations to whom it serves many functions and offers a whole range of benefits. Urban green structure should serve both...... biodiversity, recreational, educational and other needs. However, uncovered and unsealed space is constantly under pressure for building and infrastructure development in the urban landscape, and the design and usages of urban green structure is a matter of differing interests and expectations. Integrating...

  10. Monitoring Biodiversity using Environmental DNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Philip Francis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin McCann; Roelie Kloppers; Andrew Venter

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Data intensive computing for biodiversity

    CERN Document Server

    Dhillon, Sarinder K

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Conservation of biodiversity as a strategy for improving human health and well-being.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilpatrick, A Marm; Salkeld, Daniel J; Titcomb, Georgia; Hahn, Micah B

    2017-06-05

    The Earth's ecosystems have been altered by anthropogenic processes, including land use, harvesting populations, species introductions and climate change. These anthropogenic processes greatly alter plant and animal communities, thereby changing transmission of the zoonotic pathogens they carry. Biodiversity conservation may be a potential win-win strategy for maintaining ecosystem health and protecting public health, yet the causal evidence to support this strategy is limited. Evaluating conservation as a viable public health intervention requires answering four questions: (i) Is there a general and causal relationship between biodiversity and pathogen transmission, and if so, which direction is it in? (ii) Does increased pathogen diversity with increased host biodiversity result in an increase in total disease burden? (iii) Do the net benefits of biodiversity conservation to human well-being outweigh the benefits that biodiversity-degrading activities, such as agriculture and resource utilization, provide? (iv) Are biodiversity conservation interventions cost-effective when compared to other options employed in standard public health approaches? Here, we summarize current knowledge on biodiversity-zoonotic disease relationships and outline a research plan to address the gaps in our understanding for each of these four questions. Developing practical and self-sustaining biodiversity conservation interventions will require significant investment in disease ecology research to determine when and where they will be effective.This article is part of the themed issue 'Conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease: scientific evidence and policy implications'. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieczorek, John; Bloom, David; Guralnick, Robert; Blum, Stan; Döring, Markus; Giovanni, Renato; Robertson, Tim; Vieglais, David

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity data derive from myriad sources stored in various formats on many distinct hardware and software platforms. An essential step towards understanding global patterns of biodiversity is to provide a standardized view of these heterogeneous data sources to improve interoperability. Fundamental to this advance are definitions of common terms. This paper describes the evolution and development of Darwin Core, a data standard for publishing and integrating biodiversity information. We focus on the categories of terms that define the standard, differences between simple and relational Darwin Core, how the standard has been implemented, and the community processes that are essential for maintenance and growth of the standard. We present case-study extensions of the Darwin Core into new research communities, including metagenomics and genetic resources. We close by showing how Darwin Core records are integrated to create new knowledge products documenting species distributions and changes due to environmental perturbations. PMID:22238640

  17. Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Programme: Coastal Expert Workshop meeting summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, L.; McLennan, Donald; Anderson, Rebecca D.; Wegeberg, S.; Pettersvik Arvnes, Maria; Sergienko, Liudmila; Behe, Carolina; Moss-Davies, Pitseolak; Fritz, S.; Christensen, T.; Price, C.

    2016-01-01

    The Coastal Expert Workshop brought together a diverse group of coastal experts with the common goal of developing a biodiversity monitoring program for coastal ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic. Meeting participants, including northern residents, industry and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) representatives, scientists, and government regulators from across the circumpolar Arctic, gathered at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa from March 1 to 3, 2016, to discuss current biodiversity monitoring efforts, understand key issues facing biodiversity in the Arctic coastal areas and suggest monitoring indicators, or Focal Ecosystem Components, for the program. A Traditional Knowledge Holders meeting was held on February 29, 2016 in conjunction with the workshop. The following document provides a summary of the workshop activities and outcomes, and will be followed by a more complete Workshop Report.

  18. Splash-like marine biodiversity additions after the cambrian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruban Dmitry A.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Some Phanerozoic biotic radiations in the marine realm led to marine biodiversity additions, i.e., increases in the global number of genera to unprecedented levels. Each of the two alternative biodiversity curves implies five post-Cambrian events of this kind, which coincided with parts of the biotic radiations. However, differences between these curves do not allow to find coherent marine biodiversity additions with the only exception of those occurred at the interval of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification. The attempted interpretations indicate that the marine biodiversity additions increased the number of marine genera by 10-30 % (from the previous unprecedented level to that new. All additions were relatively brief and occurred as splashes throughout the Phanerozoic. Peculiar intrinsic and extrinsic factors, as well as the speed of diversification should be considered when triggers of these events are looked for. Undoubtedly, splash-like marine biodiversity additions played an important role in the evolution of life in the sea, but a lot of research is required in order to understand their true nature.

  19. Taxonomic bias in biodiversity data and societal preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troudet, Julien; Grandcolas, Philippe; Blin, Amandine; Vignes-Lebbe, Régine; Legendre, Frédéric

    2017-08-22

    Studying and protecting each and every living species on Earth is a major challenge of the 21 st century. Yet, most species remain unknown or unstudied, while others attract most of the public, scientific and government attention. Although known to be detrimental, this taxonomic bias continues to be pervasive in the scientific literature, but is still poorly studied and understood. Here, we used 626 million occurrences from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the biggest biodiversity data portal, to characterize the taxonomic bias in biodiversity data. We also investigated how societal preferences and taxonomic research relate to biodiversity data gathering. For each species belonging to 24 taxonomic classes, we used the number of publications from Web of Science and the number of web pages from Bing searches to approximate research activity and societal preferences. Our results show that societal preferences, rather than research activity, strongly correlate with taxonomic bias, which lead us to assert that scientists should advertise less charismatic species and develop societal initiatives (e.g. citizen science) that specifically target neglected organisms. Ensuring that biodiversity is representatively sampled while this is still possible is an urgent prerequisite for achieving efficient conservation plans and a global understanding of our surrounding environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Is It Time for Synthetic Biodiversity Conservation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piaggio, Antoinette J; Segelbacher, Gernot; Seddon, Philip J; Alphey, Luke; Bennett, Elizabeth L; Carlson, Robert H; Friedman, Robert M; Kanavy, Dona; Phelan, Ryan; Redford, Kent H; Rosales, Marina; Slobodian, Lydia; Wheeler, Keith

    2017-02-01

    Evidence indicates that, despite some critical successes, current conservation approaches are not slowing the overall rate of biodiversity loss. The field of synthetic biology, which is capable of altering natural genomes with extremely precise editing, might offer the potential to resolve some intractable conservation problems (e.g., invasive species or pathogens). However, it is our opinion that there has been insufficient engagement by the conservation community with practitioners of synthetic biology. We contend that rapid, large-scale engagement of these two communities is urgently needed to avoid unintended and deleterious ecological consequences. To this point we describe case studies where synthetic biology is currently being applied to conservation, and we highlight the benefits to conservation biologists from engaging with this emerging technology. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease: scientific evidence and policy implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Nunn, Charles L.; Vincent, Jeffrey R.

    2017-01-01

    Habitat destruction and infectious disease are dual threats to nature and people. The potential to simultaneously advance conservation and human health has attracted considerable scientific and popular interest; in particular, many authors have justified conservation action by pointing out potential public health benefits . One major focus of this debate—that biodiversity conservation often decreases infectious disease transmission via the dilution effect—remains contentious. Studies that test for a dilution effect often find a negative association between a diversity metric and a disease risk metric, but how such associations should inform conservation policy remains unclear for several reasons. For one, diversity and infection risk have many definitions, making it possible to identify measures that conform to expectations. Furthermore, the premise that habitat destruction consistently reduces biodiversity is in question, and disturbance or conservation can affect disease in many ways other than through biodiversity change. To date, few studies have examined the broader set of mechanisms by which anthropogenic disturbance or conservation might increase or decrease infectious disease risk to human populations. Due to interconnections between biodiversity change, economics and human behaviour, moving from ecological theory to policy action requires understanding how social and economic factors affect conservation.This Theme Issue arose from a meeting aimed at synthesizing current theory and data on ‘biodiversity, conservation and infectious disease’ (4–6 May 2015). Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, economists, epidemiologists, veterinary scientists, public health professionals, and conservation biologists from around the world discussed the latest research on the ecological and socio-economic links between conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease, and the open questions and controversies in these areas. By combining ecological understanding

  3. An agricultural model for biodiversity conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Travis, A.J.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation discusses the SANREM CRSP long term research activity (LTRA-2), "An Agricultural Markets Model for Biodiversity Conservation," in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. The objectives are: LTRA-2 (An Agricultural Markets Model for Biodiversity Conservation)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick J. O'Farrell

    2012-09-01

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

  5. Representation of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Protected Areas of the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challange has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and acti...

  6. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within the Protected Areas at a National Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and acti...

  7. Evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas for maintaining biodiversity, securing habitats, and reducing threats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geldmann, Jonas

    Protected areas are amongst the most important conservation responses to halt the loss of biodiversity and cover more than 12.7% of the terrestrial surface of earth. Likewise, protected areas are an important political instrument and a key component of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD...... of this thesis has been to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of protected area in securing biodiversity, by evaluating their ability to either improve conservation responses, the state of biodiversity, or alternatively to reduce the human pressures responsible for the loss of biodiversity. The scope...... areas do have an effect and that many protected areas have seen an improvement in management over time. A second and perhaps equally important conclusion is that strong empirically based evidence on the effectiveness of protected areas is impeded by the lack of good data to measure change compared...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmavathy, A; Poyyamoli, G

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Biodiversity: past, present and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubidge, Emily M.; Burton, A. Cole; Vamosi, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    On 12–15 May 2011, a diverse group of students, researchers and practitioners from across Canada and around the world met in Banff, Alberta, to discuss the many facets of biodiversity science at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. PMID:21733869

  10. The Early Years: Exploring Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2017-01-01

    The importance of biodiversity to human life and the benefits of a diverse ecosystem are not often obvious to young children. This column discusses resources and science topics related to students in grades preK to 2. The objective in this month's issue is to introduce children to the diversity of plant life in a given area through a plant…

  11. Business Meets Biodiversity Conference 2012

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vollaard, B.; Man, M. de; Verweij, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    How can companies successfully integrate the sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity into their business models? This was the central question at the international conference ‘Business Meets Biodiversity’ held in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on June 27th 2012. The organizing committee,

  12. Wilderness, biodiversity, and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel L. Dustin; Keri A. Schwab; Kelly S. Bricker

    2015-01-01

    This paper illustrates how wilderness, biodiversity, and human health are intertwined. Proceeding from the assumption that humankind is part of, rather than apart from, nature, health is re-imagined as a dynamic relationship that can best be conceived in broad ecological terms. Health, from an ecological perspective, is a measure of the wellness of the individual and...

  13. A forgotten component of biodiversity

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2011-07-08

    Jul 8, 2011 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 36; Issue 4. Clipboard: Helminth richness in Arunachal Pradesh fishes: A forgotten component of biodiversity. Amit Tripathi. Volume 36 Issue 4 September 2011 pp 559-561. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  14. Trading biodiversity for pest problems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  15. Biodiversity in Word and Meaning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slingsby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article argues that we need to abandon the word "biodiversity", to rediscover the biology that it obscures and to rethink how to introduce this biology to young people. We cannot go back to the systematics that once made up a large part of a biology A-level course (ages 16-18), so we need to find alternative ways of introducing the…

  16. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoli, Gary D; Wells, Philip L; Meijaard, Erik; Struebig, Matthew J; Marshall, Andrew J; Obidzinski, Krystof; Tan, Aseng; Rafiastanto, Andjar; Yaap, Betsy; Ferry Slik, Jw; Morel, Alexandra; Perumal, Balu; Wielaard, Niels; Husson, Simon; D'Arcy, Laura

    2010-11-23

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

  17. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferry Slik JW

    2010-11-01

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

  18. A multi-method analysis of forest fragmentation and loss: The case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Forest fragmentation and loss seriously affect biodiversity. There is need to monitor and assess forest fragmentation and loss in communal areas for effective biodiversity management. In this study, we analysed the extent of forest fragmentation and loss in ward 11, Chiredzi district of Zimbabwe over a 14 year period (1989 ...

  19. Context dependency and saturating effects of loss of rare soil microbes on plant productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hol, Gera; De Boer, Wietse; de Hollander, Mattias; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya; Meisner, Annelein; van der Putten, Wim

    2015-01-01

    Land use intensification is associated with loss of biodiversity and altered ecosystem functioning. Until now most studies on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning focused on random loss of species, while loss of rare species that usually are the first to disappear received

  20. Linking the influence and dependence of people on biodiversity across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel; Cowles, Jane; Díaz, Sandra; Hector, Andy; Mace, Georgina M.; Wardle, David A.; O’Connor, Mary I.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Turnbull, Lindsay A.; Thompson, Patrick L.; Larigauderie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Biodiversity enhances many of nature’s benefits to people, including the regulation of climate and the production of wood in forests, livestock forage in grasslands and fish in aquatic ecosystems. Yet people are now driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history. Human dependence and influence on biodiversity have mainly been studied separately and at contrasting scales of space and time, but new multiscale knowledge is beginning to link these relationships. Biodiversity loss substantially diminishes several ecosystem services by altering ecosystem functioning and stability, especially at the large temporal and spatial scales that are most relevant for policy and conservation. PMID:28569811