Browsing by Subject "BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION"

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  • Etongo, Daniel; Djenontin, Ida Nadia S.; Kanninen, Markku; Glover, Edinam K. (2017)
    Empirical ethnobotanical studies in Burkina Faso and the Sahel apply unmodified use-value methods, which often fail to capture uses of plants within and across categories. These methods mask both the relative uses and local people's 'true' knowledge of plant species. This study addresses these methodological weaknesses by assessing plant use-values within and across eight use categories for livelihood values and their potentials for environmental protection among 48 informants, selected through a stratified random technique. The research is twofold: (1) to document and identify the conservation status of plant species and (2) to assess local knowledge and perceived importance of the most easily found plant species in relation to informant's age, gender, ethnicity, and location. Seventy-three plant species belonging to 24 families were recorded on fields, fallows, and forests. The most easily found 30 species belonged to 14 families of which Combretaceae, Mimosodeae, Caesalpinioideae, and Anacardiaceae dominated. Results show that Adansonia digitata, Parkia biglobosa, Vitellaria paradoxa, and Balanites aegyptiaca were more valued for livelihood benefits, while A. digitata, Tamarindus indica, and Ficus thonningii received more value for their potentials in environmental protection. Local knowledge was unevenly distributed and showed significant differences at the 0.01 % level among gender, age, ethnicity, and study village. The relative importance of plant uses goes beyond nutrition and potentials in environmental protection and can provide valuable information for creating local markets for such goods. Three species belonging to different families were identified as vulnerable and considered priority for conservation. The design of conservation and development projects should consider creating opportunities for knowledge sharing that will not only improve knowledge but provide better understanding of local priorities based on sociocultural and economic factors.
  • Hanspach, Jan; Haider, Lisbeth Jamila; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Gulsrud, Natalie M.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Torralba, Mario; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Bieling, Claudia; Garcia-Martin, Maria; Albert, Christian; Beery, Thomas H.; Fagerholm, Nora; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Drews-Shambroom, Annika; Plieninger, Tobias (2020)
    Current sustainability challenges demand approaches that acknowledge a plurality of human-nature interactions and worldviews, for which biocultural approaches are considered appropriate and timely. This systematic review analyses the application of biocultural approaches to sustainability in scientific journal articles published between 1990 and 2018 through a mixed methods approach combining qualitative content analysis and quantitative multivariate methods. The study identifies seven distinct biocultural lenses, that is, different ways of understanding and applying biocultural approaches, which to different degrees consider the key aspects of sustainability science-inter- and transdisciplinarity, social justice and normativity. The review suggests that biocultural approaches in sustainability science need to move from describing how nature and culture are co-produced to co-producing knowledge for sustainability solutions, and in so doing, better account for questions of power, gender and transformations, which has been largely neglected thus far. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Kullberg, Peter; Toivonen, Tuuli; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Lehtomäki, Joona; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte (2015)
    Complementarity and cost-efficiency are widely used principles for protected area network design. Despite the wide use and robust theoretical underpinnings, their effects on the performance and patterns of priority areas are rarely studied in detail. Here we compare two approaches for identifying the management priority areas inside the global protected area network: 1) a scoring-based approach, used in recently published analysis and 2) a spatial prioritization method, which accounts for complementarity and area-efficiency. Using the same IUCN species distribution data the complementarity method found an equal-area set of priority areas with double the mean species ranges covered compared to the scoringbased approach. The complementarity set also had 72% more species with full ranges covered, and lacked any coverage only for half of the species compared to the scoring approach. Protected areas in our complementarity-based solution were on average smaller and geographically more scattered. The large difference between the two solutions highlights the need for critical thinking about the selected prioritization method. According to our analysis, accounting for complementarity and area-efficiency can lead to considerable improvements when setting management priorities for the global protected area network.
  • Di Minin, Enrico; Brooks, Thomas; Toivonen, Tuuli; Butchart, Stuart; Heikinheimo, Vuokko; Watson, James; Burgess, Neil; Challender, Daniel; Goettsch, Barbara; Jenkins, Richard; Moilanen, Atte (2019)
    Overexploitation is one of the main threats to biodiversity, but the intensity of this threat varies geographically. We identified global concentrations, on land and at sea, of 4543 species threatened by unsustainable commercial harvesting. Regions under high-intensity threat (based on accessibility on land and on fishing catch at sea) cover 4.3% of the land and 6.1% of the seas and contain 82% of all species threatened by unsustainable harvesting and > 80% of the ranges of Critically Endangered species threatened by unsustainable harvesting. Currently, only 16% of these regions are covered by protected areas on land and just 6% at sea. Urgent actions are needed in these centers of unsustainable harvesting to ensure that use of species is sustainable and to prevent further species' extinctions.
  • Malkamäki, Arttu; Toppinen, Anne; Kanninen, Markku (2016)
  • Barnosky, Anthony D.; Hadly, Elizabeth A.; Gonzalez, Patrick; Head, Jason; Polly, P. David; Lawing, A. Michelle; Eronen, Jussi T.; Ackerly, David D.; Alex, Ken; Biber, Eric; Blois, Jessica; Brashares, Justin; Ceballos, Gerardo; Davis, Edward; Dietl, Gregory P.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Doremus, Holly; Fortelius, Mikael; Greene, Harry W.; Hellmann, Jessica; Hickler, Thomas; Jackson, Stephen T.; Kemp, Melissa; Koch, Paul L.; Kremen, Claire; Lindsey, Emily L.; Looy, Cindy; Marshall, Charles R.; Mendenhall, Chase; Mulch, Andreas; Mychajliw, Alexis M.; Nowak, Carsten; Ramakrishnan, Uma; Schnitzler, Jan; Das Shrestha, Kashish; Solari, Katherine; Stegner, Lynn; Stegner, M. Allison; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Wake, Marvalee H.; Zhang, Zhibin (2017)
    Conservation of species and ecosystems is increasingly difficult because anthropogenic impacts are pervasive and accelerating. Under this rapid global change, maximizing conservation success requires a paradigm shift from maintaining ecosystems in idealized past states toward facilitating their adaptive and functional capacities, even as species ebb and flow individually. Developing effective strategies under this new paradigm will require deeper understanding of the long-term dynamics that govern ecosystem persistence and reconciliation of conflicts among approaches to conserving historical versus novel ecosystems. Integrating emerging information from conservation biology, paleobiology, and the Earth sciences is an important step forward on the path to success. Maintaining nature in all its aspects will also entail immediately addressing the overarching threats of growing human population, overconsumption, pollution, and climate change.
  • Niskanen, Annina; Luoto, Miska; Väre, Henry; Heikkinen, Risto K. (2017)
    Projected climatic warming calls for increased attention to the identification of suitable refugia for the preservation of biota and ecosystems in changing high-latitude environments. One such way is the development of models for drivers of refugia. Here, we investigate the distribution and species richness of Arctic-alpine vascular plant species' refugia. The study is carried out in an environmentally variable area in N Europe, encompassing the northern boreal to the Arctic-alpine zone. We defined refugia as isolated 1 km x 1 km grid cells with multiple Arctic-alpine plant species occurrences outside their main distribution area and assessed the main environmental factors underlying their distribution and richness using cross-validated boosted regression tree modelling. In the modelling, we examined the effects of climatic, topographic, and geologic factors, and the connectivity of sites with refugia incrementally, i.e. first modelling climatic impact alone, then with separate additions of topographic, geologic and connectivity variables, concluding with a model including all predictor variables. The inclusion of slope and connectivity significantly improved model performance. Although climate has a central role in controlling the occurrence of refugia, topography provides important clues for recognizing heterogeneous locations that harbour refugia with suitable local thermal and moisture conditions. Results suggest considering refugia as, on the one hand, isolated pockets of suitable habitat, but on the other hand as potentially interconnected habitat networks. In general, our study demonstrates that the spatial patterns of refugia can be successfully modelled, but emphasizes a need for high-quality data sampled at resolutions reflecting significant environmental gradients.
  • Kujala, Heini; Lahoz-Monfort, José Joaquín; Elith, Jane; Moilanen, Atte (2018)
    Decisions about land use significantly influence biodiversity globally. The field of spatial conservation prioritisation explores allocation of conservation effort, including for reserve network expansion, targeting habitat restoration, or minimising ecological impacts of development. Inevitably, the utility of such planning depends on the quantity and quality input data, including spatial information on biodiversity, threats, and cost of action. In this work we systematically develop understanding about the significance of these different data types in spatial conservation prioritisation. We clarify the common ways different data types enter an analysis, develop mathematical models to understand the effects of data in spatial prioritisation, and survey literature to establish typical quantities of different types of data used. We use Jackknife analysis to derive the expected change in site values, when a single new data layer is added to a prioritisation. We validate mathematical formulae for expected impacts using simulations. A survey of scientific literature reveals that typical spatial prioritisation analyses include hundreds of biodiversity feature layers (species, habitat types, ecosystem services), but the count of cost, threat or habitat condition layers is typically 0-5. Due to these differences, and the mathematical formulations commonly used to combine data types, the influence of a single cost, threat, or habitat condition data layer can be an order or two higher than the influence of a single biodiversity feature layer. In a classical cost-effectiveness formulation (benefits divided by costs, B/C) the influence of a single cost layer can even be as large as the joint influence of thousands of species distributions. We also clarify how changes in data impact site values and spatial priority rankings differently, with the latter being further influenced by data correlations, the spread of numeric values inside data layers and other data characteristics. For example, costs influence priorities significantly if cost is positively correlated with biodiversity, but the correlation is the other way around for biodiversity and habitat condition. This work helps conservation practitioners to direct efforts when collating data for spatial conservation planning. It also helps decision makers understand where to focus attention when interpreting conservation plans and their uncertainties.
  • Matthies, Brent D.; Kalliokoski, Tuomo; Eyvindson, Kyle; Honkela, Nina; Hukkinen, Janne I.; Kuusinen, Nea J.; Räisänen, Petri; Valsta, Lauri T. (2016)
    Socially inefficient payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes result when adverse shifts in the provisioning of other ecosystem services (ES) or overpayment to service providers occur. To address these inefficiencies, a holistic evaluation of trade-offs between services should be conducted in parallel with determining land owners' service provisioning preferences. Recent evidence also suggests that nudging stakeholders' preferences could be a useful policy design tool to address global change challenges. Forest owners' landscape management preferences were nudged to determine the impact on the social efficiency of PES schemes for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation in Finland. ES indicators for biodiversity conservation, carbon storage, and the albedo effect were included with traditional provisioning services (i.e. timber) and bioenergy to assess the consequent intra-service trade-offs. Synergies in provisioning of regulating services were identified, but were found to be more efficient when the management objective is for biodiversity conservation rather than climate change regulation. Nudging led to marginal gains in service provisioning above the baseline management and above neutral owner preferences, and increased aggregate service provisioning. This demonstrates the importance of considering intra-service trade-offs and that nudging could be an important tool for designing efficient PES schemes. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Lundberg, Piia; Veríssimo, Diogo; Vainio, Annukka; Arponen, Anni (2020)
    Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) appeal to private donors for conservation fundraising, often employing single species flagships as their fundraising strategy. Previous studies suggest that donor preferences vary, and can be divided into segments. Just as preferences towards species can vary, preferences towards different flagship types may also differ. Thus, opportunities may exist to enhance the use of other flagship types such as flagship fleets, ecosystems or biodiversity in fundraising. Although previous studies have found that aesthetic appeal, locality or threat status can explain the decision to donate, it is unclear how these attributes influence choices between flagship types. We conducted a discrete choice experiment on donor preferences towards different flagship types in the United Kingdom (n = 380) and the United States (n = 374), and explored how flagship attributes and socio-demographic variables affect potential donors' choices. Latent class modeling revealed seven donor segments in both countries that varied in their preferences of flagship types and attributes, as well as in their price-sensitivity. Some segments were similar for both countries, but the US segments were more polarized regarding price-sensitivity. Most respondents favored biodiversity targets in their choices, and ecosystems were more popular than species-based flagships. To enhance their fundraising capacity, ENGOs should extend their donation targets beyond flagship species, and develop more targeted marketing strategies for different audiences. Our research also demonstrates the need for further research to examine respondents' characteristics, such as personal values or environmental concern, which would allow more precisely targeted marketing to specific donor segments, e.g. through social media channels.
  • Herzon, Irina; Raatikainen, Kaisa; Wehn, Solvi; Rusina, Solvita; Helm, Aveliina; Cousins, Sara; Rašomavičius, Valerius (2021)
    The European continent contains substantial areas of semi-natural habitats, mostly grasslands, which are among the most endangered habitats in Europe. Their continued existence depends on some form of human activity, for either production or conservation purposes, or both. We examined the share of semi-natural grasslands within the general grassland areas in boreal Europe. We reviewed research literature across the region to compile evidence on semi-natural grasslands and other semi-natural habitats, such as wooded pastures, in respect to a range of topics such as ecology, land-use change, socioeconomics, and production. We also explored drivers of the research agenda and outlined future research needs. Challenges are faced when defining and quantifying semi-natural habitats even across a restricted region. Agricultural development and other policies clearly impact the research agenda in various countries. There are recent signs of a shift from classical ecological studies toward more multidisciplinary and integrated research. To sufficiently address the threats faced by semi-natural habitats, political and research frameworks in the European Union should pay more attention to the social-ecological complexity inherent in their management and should support the engagement of various actors into participatory governance processes. This is in line with a full-farm approach implicit in high nature value farming systems.
  • Cortes Capano, Gonzalo; Toivonen, Tuuli; Soutullo, Alvaro; Di Minin, Enrico (2019)
    Private land conservation (PLC) is an important means for achieving global conservation targets. We reviewed peer-reviewed literature focussing on PLC to summarize past scientific evidence and to identify research trends and gaps to direct future research. We carried out an in-depth review of 284 scientific articles and analysed where, when and in what context PLC has been studied. Specifically, we (i) assessed where and when PLC studies took place and which topics they covered; (ii) identified the most addressed conservation actions and policy instruments, and (iii) investigated whether stakeholders' engagement during research processes was reported or not. We found that (i) there has been an increase in the number of scientific PLC publications over time; (ii) 78%of the articles in scientific journals focussed on four countries only (United States of America, Australia, South Africa and Canada); (iii) literature content focussed mostly on easements, programs and landowners and showed both geographical and temporal differences; (iv) land/water protection, law and policy and livelihood, economic and other incentives were the most addressed conservation actions; (v) property rights, particularly conservation easements, were the most addressed policy instrument; and (vi) half of the articles did not report the engagement of any stakeholder sector and cross-sector stakeholders' engagement was often missing. Overall, our results highlight the need for future studies on PLC to cover currently underrepresented regions; to assess the effec-tiveness of more conservation actions and policy instruments; and to test how engaging different stakeholders can potentially promote legitimate and equitable PLC policies across contexts.
  • Terraube, Julien; Fernandez-Llamazares, Alvaro; Cabeza, Mar (2017)
    Ongoing global biodiversity loss has far-reaching consequences for human health and well-being. While protected areas (PAs) have become a major policy instrument for biodiversity conservation, their role in supporting human health remains unclear. Here, we synthesize both positive and negative aspects of PAs on different dimensions of human health and provide several theoretical advances to assess the effectiveness of PAs in promoting human health. We finally identify three major research gaps requiring urgent attention. Implementing an interdisciplinary research program remains a priority to better comprehend the linkages between human health, ecosystem services and conservation policies at global scale. We believe this is key to improve the management of PAs and their surrounding areas and foster co-benefits for biodiversity and human health.
  • Kuuluvainen, Timo; Gauthier, Sylvie (2018)
    The circumboreal forest encompasses diverse landscape structures, dynamics and forest age distributions determined by their physical setting, and historical and current disturbance regimes. However, due to intensifying forest utilisation, and in certain areas due to increasing natural disturbances, boreal forest age-class structures have changed rapidly, so that the proportion of old forest has substantially declined, while that of young post-harvest and post-natural-disturbance forest proportions have increased. In the future, with a warming climate in certain boreal regions, this trend may further be enhanced due to an increase in natural disturbances and large-scale use of forest biomass to replace fossil-based fuels and products. The major drivers of change of forest age class distributions and structures include the use of clearcut short-rotation harvesting, more frequent and severe natural disturbances due to climate warming in certain regions. The decline in old forest area, and increase in managed young forest lacking natural post-disturbance structural legacies, represent a major transformation in the ecological conditions of the boreal forest beyond historical limits of variability. This may introduce a threat to biodiversity, ecosystem resilience and long-term adaptive capacity of the forest ecosystem. To safeguard boreal forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and to maintain the multiple services provided to societies by this forest biome, it is pivotal to maintain an adequate share and the ecological qualities of young post-disturbance stages, along with mature forest stages with old-growth characteristics. This requires management for natural post-disturbance legacy structures, and innovative use of diverse uneven-aged and continuous cover management approaches to maintain critical late-successional forest structures in landscapes.