Browsing by Subject "Conservation"

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  • Balotari-Chiebao, Fabio; Brommer, Jon E.; Saurola, Pertti; Ijäs, Asko; Laaksonen, Toni (2018)
    The expansion of wind energy over large areas may be accompanied by major conflicts with birds, including birds of prey. Hence, it is desirable that the space use of species known to be vulnerable to wind energy be assessed in light of current and future developments. Here, we report on the large-scale dispersal movements of pre-breeding white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Finland, where a currently modest wind-energy capacity is expected to increase in the near future. We studied white-tailed eagle space use with a particular focus on the potential for annual power production (GWh) at specific locations, as estimated by the Finnish Wind Atlas. Also, we aimed to detect a potential human-wildlife conflict by assessing white-tailed eagle space use against the spatial distribution of existing and recently proposed wind farms. We found that, despite visiting a large proportion of the country, the eagles stayed primarily within coastal areas and islands, restricted to where human infrastructure was present only at very small amounts. Because of the distribution of wind resources, such areas were found to contain considerable potential for power production. The eagles visited most of the areas targeted for wind-energy development. However, these areas did not coincide with a higher-than-average eagle relocation frequency, suggesting that the existing and recently proposed wind farms do not represent an elevated threat to dispersing eagles. Caution should nevertheless be taken against interpreting that co-occurrence poses no threat at any given site, as site selection is paramount to avoid conflicts with avian conservation.
  • Nummi, Petri; Liao, Wenfei; van der Schoor, Juliette; Loehr, John (2021)
    Beavers (Castor spp.) are ecosystem engineers that induce local disturbance and ecological succession, which turns terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems and creates habitat heterogeneity in a landscape. Beavers have been proposed as a tool for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. So far, most research has compared biodiversity in beaver wetlands and non-beaver wetlands, but few studies have explored how beaver-created succession affects specific taxa. In this study, we investigated how water beetles responded to different successional stages of wetlands in a beaver-disturbed landscape at Evo in southern Finland. We sampled water beetles with 1-L activity traps in 20 ponds, including: 5 new beaver ponds, 5 old beaver ponds, 5 former beaver ponds, and 5 never engineered ponds. We found that beaver wetlands had higher species richness and abundance than non-beaver wetlands, and that new beaver wetlands could support higher species richness (321%) and abundance (671%) of water beetles compared to old beaver wetlands. We think that higher water beetle diversity in new beaver ponds has resulted from habitat amelioration (available lentic water, shallow shores, aquatic vegetation, and low fish abundance) and food source enhancement (an increase of both dead and live prey) created by beaver dams and floods. We conclude that using beavers as a tool, or imitating their way of flooding, can be beneficial in wetland restoration if beaver population densities are monitored to ensure the availability of newly colonizable sites.
  • Voorsluis, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract In this Master’s thesis I investigate Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) involvement, experiences and outcomes in Madagascar, including the limiting and enabling factors for impact of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The focal point of the research is the lived experiences from the field, including identification of processes and forces shaping the preconditions for NGO interventions. As part of the research I explore experiences of NGOs from their interventions and from engaging with local communities, government, policy makers and other NGOs in Madagascar. Many NGOs are active in biodiversity hotspots like Madagascar, but evaluation outcomes and lessons learned tend not to be extensively shared across organizations and thematic focus areas. This in turn affects preconditions to influence outcome determinants not only in isolated interventions but also across organizational borders. This study aims to define the situation and the issues faced by NGOs in Madagascar to suggest how the landscape could be navigated to improve the preconditions for long term intervention impact. The purpose is not to evaluate specific projects, but to assess the mechanisms through which the NGO sector can make a significant contribution to conservation, as well as the challenges in doing so. As the analysis seeks to broaden and contextualize the discussion of NGO involvement in conservation interventions, the theoretical framework for the research is based on theory on Non-Governmental Organizations and grounded theory. The theoretical framework facilitates the analysis of the findings, understanding of the results, as well as structuring and highlighting new insights. The theory is complemented with a background assessment of the environmental context in Madagascar, reviewing other research on conservation and its challenges in the country. This helps to understand the dimensions of the challenges, as well as the avenues open for exploration. Insights are gathered from representatives of long-term in situ NGOs to better understand the wider playing field in which they operate. The empirical research is based on semi-structured interviews conducted with 21 representatives from 12 international and local NGOs working with biodiversity conservation in Madagascar. The data was transcribed and analyzed through thematic network analysis and constructivist grounded theory analysis. The interviews were combined with a literature review, a group interview, a field visit to a project site, and more informal conversations with academic researchers and experts in the field. As part of the study, a two-week field trip to Madagascar was undertaken. To present the findings from this research, thematic categorizations were used to illustrate factors that affect outcomes of conservation interventions driven by NGOs. The categories are related to internal organization specific factors, cooperation with other actors (including other NGOs, government and actors in the local communities), as well as the Malagasy environment and politics (including government, laws and policies). The findings reveal challenges especially with systematic coordination of NGO interventions, NGO evaluation practices, resources, as well as issues with implementing sustainable community involvement in project design and decision making. Local community involvement is considered important, but in practice is not fully scaled up and inclusive in terms of decision making and consistent involvement. Findings indicate that the cooperation between NGOs and their key stakeholders works reasonably well from the NGO perspective, but still has potential to be better utilized in order to improve long-term sustainability. Consideration of external constraints is important to assess the potential of different types of interventions and approaches, allowing NGOs to focus their efforts according to the context and their capacities. While acknowledging and navigating the diversity of viewpoints, it is essential to be aware of the impact of structural challenges, the political complexity and the often-conflicting interests between conservation, the commercial and extractive sector, as well as local livelihoods and practices. Findings indicate issues with policy implementation and harmonization, and with conservation prioritization and law enforcement by the government. Local and national ownership and leadership backing is seen as essential for biodiversity conservation, pushing for stronger leadership from within the society. My research provides insights, recommendations and conclusions from which NGOs and conservation actors can gain better understanding of factors impacting interventions, as well as on the Malagasy playing field and its dynamics. This can be helpful in order to capitalize on opportunities and counter challenges, focusing actions on areas that make a difference. The findings can also be of value to other biodiversity conservation researchers, funding agencies, associations, communities and government stakeholders specifically focused on Madagascar. The research may also benefit NGOs and conservation actors involved in other countries, which confront similar challenges concerning conservation, governance, NGO involvement and interventions.
  • Terraube, Julien (2019)
    This Forum article synthesizes the current evidence on the links between predator-prey interactions, protected areas and spatial variations in Lyme disease risk in Fennoscandia. I suggest key research directions to better understand the role of protected areas in promoting the persistence of diverse predator guilds. Conserving predators could help reducing host populations and Lyme disease risk in northern Europe. There is an urgent need to find possible win-win solutions for biodiversity conservation and human health in ecosystems facing rapid global environmental change.
  • Milicic, Marija; Vujic, Ante; Cardoso, Pedro (2018)
    Climate change presents a serious threat to global biodiversity. Loss of pollinators in particular has major implications, with extirpation of these species potentially leading to severe losses in agriculture and, thus, economic losses. In this study, we forecast the effects of climate change on the distribution of hoverflies in Southeast Europe using species distribution modelling and climate change scenarios for two time-periods. For 2041-2060, 19 analysed species were predicted to increase their areas of occupancy, with the other 25 losing some of their ranges. For 2061-2080, 55% of species were predicted to increase their area of occupancy, while 45% were predicted to experience range decline. In general, range size changes for most species were below 20%, indicating a relatively high resilience of hoverflies to climate change when only environmental variables are considered. Additionally, range-restricted species are not predicted to lose more area proportionally to widespread species. Based on our results, two distributional trends can be established: the predicted gain of species in alpine regions, and future loss of species from lowland areas. Considering that the loss of pollinators from present lowland agricultural areas is predicted and that habitat degradation presents a threat to possible range expansion of hoverflies in the future, developing conservation management strategy for the preservation of these species is crucial. This study represents an important step towards the assessment of the effects of climate changes on hoverflies and can be a valuable asset in creating future conservation plan, thus helping in mitigating potential consequences.
  • Lal, Dennis; May, Patrick; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Samocha, Kaitlin E; Kosmicki, Jack A; Robinson, Elise B; Møller, Rikke S; Krause, Roland; Nürnberg, Peter; Weckhuysen, Sarah; De Jonghe, Peter; Guerrini, Renzo; Niestroj, Lisa M; Du, Juliana; Marini, Carla; Ware, James S; Kurki, Mitja; Gormley, Padhraig; Tang, Sha; Wu, Sitao; Biskup, Saskia; Poduri, Annapurna; Neubauer, Bernd A; Koeleman, Bobby P C; Helbig, Katherine L; Weber, Yvonne G; Helbig, Ingo; Majithia, Amit R; Palotie, Aarno; Daly, Mark J (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background Classifying pathogenicity of missense variants represents a major challenge in clinical practice during the diagnoses of rare and genetic heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). While orthologous gene conservation is commonly employed in variant annotation, approximately 80% of known disease-associated genes belong to gene families. The use of gene family information for disease gene discovery and variant interpretation has not yet been investigated on a genome-wide scale. We empirically evaluate whether paralog-conserved or non-conserved sites in human gene families are important in NDDs. Methods Gene family information was collected from Ensembl. Paralog-conserved sites were defined based on paralog sequence alignments; 10,068 NDD patients and 2078 controls were statistically evaluated for de novo variant burden in gene families. Results We demonstrate that disease-associated missense variants are enriched at paralog-conserved sites across all disease groups and inheritance models tested. We developed a gene family de novo enrichment framework that identified 43 exome-wide enriched gene families including 98 de novo variant carrying genes in NDD patients of which 28 represent novel candidate genes for NDD which are brain expressed and under evolutionary constraint. Conclusion This study represents the first method to incorporate gene family information into a statistical framework to interpret variant data for NDDs and to discover new NDD-associated genes.
  • EuroEPINOMICS- RES Consortium; Lal, Dennis; May, Patrick; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Kurki, Mitja; Palotie, Aarno; Daly, Mark J.; Lehesjoki, Anna-Elina (2020)
    Background Classifying pathogenicity of missense variants represents a major challenge in clinical practice during the diagnoses of rare and genetic heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). While orthologous gene conservation is commonly employed in variant annotation, approximately 80% of known disease-associated genes belong to gene families. The use of gene family information for disease gene discovery and variant interpretation has not yet been investigated on a genome-wide scale. We empirically evaluate whether paralog-conserved or non-conserved sites in human gene families are important in NDDs. Methods Gene family information was collected from Ensembl. Paralog-conserved sites were defined based on paralog sequence alignments; 10,068 NDD patients and 2078 controls were statistically evaluated for de novo variant burden in gene families. Results We demonstrate that disease-associated missense variants are enriched at paralog-conserved sites across all disease groups and inheritance models tested. We developed a gene family de novo enrichment framework that identified 43 exome-wide enriched gene families including 98 de novo variant carrying genes in NDD patients of which 28 represent novel candidate genes for NDD which are brain expressed and under evolutionary constraint. Conclusion This study represents the first method to incorporate gene family information into a statistical framework to interpret variant data for NDDs and to discover new NDD-associated genes.
  • Harmoinen, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    New Zealand is an isolated landmass laying in the Southwest Pacific waters, far away from any major islands or continents. It was the last major landmass to be colonized by people, discovered by the first Polynesian explorers around a thousand years ago. Historically, New Zealand lacked all native mammals (apart from three species of bats) and so has developed a plethora of bird species and other endemic wildlife. The absence of mammalian predators, combined with the continuous isolation for millions of years, has led the evolution of some very unique and charismatic species. One of these species is the iconic symbol of New Zealand – the kiwi (Apteryx spp). The biggest challenge to the New Zealand wildlife has been the introduction of mammalian species to the New Zealand ecosystem. There are 25 species of introduced mammals in New Zealand today that are regarded as pests. The devastation caused by these species is the main cause for the dramatic decline of the endemic New Zealand wildlife, including the iconic kiwi. Nationally, kiwi continue to decline by more than 2% annually and there are estimates of the species going extinct from the wild within 50 years. Since the first more permanent human settlement, more than 50% of the New Zealand breeding birds have gone extinct. In this thesis, the relation between kiwi and introduced mammalian species around the township of Whakatāne, New Zealand, was studied. During summer 2018-2019, three out of eight monitored kiwi chicks were predated by a suspected mustelid/mustelids and DNA swabs were obtained from the bite sites. Volunteer pest trappers were then asked to bring in all their catches in an attempt to catch the individual/individuals responsible for the predations. Molecular tools including microsatellites were used to create ID profiles in an attempt to match the profiles to those obtained from the kiwi chicks. In the second part of the study, the stoats’ stomachs were analysed as part of a diet study. A new, kiwi specific DNA probe was trialled and the remaining stomach contents were sequenced for other native wildlife species. Out of the three predated kiwi chicks, all of them were confirmed to be stoat predations. Unfortunately, none of the stoat ID profiles obtained matched the profile of the kiwi chick Ranui who was the only chick a good micro-satellite profile was obtained for. This confirmed that the stoat/stoats responsible for the predation of Ranui was not caught as part of this study. In the diet part of this thesis, we trialled the kiwi specific probe but could not identify any kiwi DNA in the stoat stomach contents. The DNA sequencing however revealed five other species: tomtit (lat. Petroica macrocephala, 100%), common chaffinch (lat. Frigilla coelebs, 100%), tui (lat. Prosthemadera novaseelandiae, 96%), European hare (lat. Lepus europaeus,100%) and copper skink (lat. Cyclodina aenea, 100%). These findings shed new light on the extent introduced mammalian species contribute to the species loss taking place in the New Zealand forests today. The use of molecular techniques and tools in conservation offers an often faster, cost-efficient and more reliable alternative to traditional monitoring methods of introduced species. The rapid development of these tools has seen New Zealand taking critical steps towards one day becoming predator free. The ambitious goal to rid New Zealand of target introduced species (mustelids, possums and rats) by year 2050 (Predator Free 2050), has been compared as the New Zealand equivalent of putting the man on the moon.
  • Viranta, Suvi; Atickem, Anagaw; Werdelin, Lars; Stenseth, Nils C (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The African wolf, for which we herein recognise Canis lupaster Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1832 (Symbolae Physicae quae ex Itinere Africam Borealem er Asoam Occidentalem Decas Secunda. Berlin, 1833) as the valid species name (we consider the older name Canis anthus Cuvier, 1820 [Le Chacal de Sénégal, Femelle. In: Geoffroy St.-Hilaire E, Cuvier F, editors. Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères Paris, A. Belin, 1820] a nomen dubium), is a medium-sized canid with wolf-like characters. Because of phenotypic similarity, specimens of African wolf have long been assigned to golden jackal (Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758 [Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata, 1758]). Results Here we provide, through rigorous morphological analysis, a species description for this taxonomically overlooked species. Through molecular sequencing we assess its distribution in Africa, which remains uncertain due to confusion regarding possible co-occurrence with the Eurasian golden jackal. Canis lupaster differs from all other Canis spp. including the golden jackal in its cranial morphology, while phylogenetically it shows close affinity to the Holarctic grey wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758 [Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata, 1758]). All sequences generated during this study clustered with African wolf specimens, consistent with previous data for the species. Conclusions We suggest that the estimated current geographic range of golden jackal in Africa represents the African wolf range. Further research is needed in eastern Egypt, where a hybrid zone between Eurasian golden jackal and African wolf may exist. Our results highlight the need for improved studies of geographic range and population surveys for the taxon, which is classified as ‘least concern’ by the IUCN due to its erroneous identification as golden jackal. As a species exclusively distributed in Africa, investigations of the biology and threats to African wolf are needed.
  • Fernandez-Llamazares Onrubia, Alvaro; Cabeza-Jaimejuan, Maria Del Mar (2018)
    Several intergovernmental policy instruments, including the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO and the Convention on Biological Diversity, have proposed to develop integrated strategies to build bridges between biological and cultural diversity agendas. We contend that to succeed in this endeavor, it is crucial to link biocultural revitalization to conservation practice. Our hope with this review is to call attention to indigenous storytelling as an option worth adding to the repertoire of conservation practitioners who aim to: (1) link conservation actions to indigenous worldviews; (2) foster connections between indigenous peoples and their landscapes; (3) facilitate intergenerational transfer of indigenous knowledge; (4) support dialogue over conservation; and (5) promote local participation in conservation. Because indigenous stories are full of resonance, memory, and wisdom—in a footing that is structurally free of power imbalance between conservation practitioners and local communities—, we contend that they can be crucial to guide future efforts in biocultural conservation practice. Our review shows that deeper consideration and promotion of indigenous storytelling can lead to enhanced understanding of diverse values and perceptions around biodiversity, while offering a constructive approach for greater inclusion of indigenous peoples in conservation pursuits.
  • Hyvärinen, Marko (2020)
    Rubus humulifolius is a Eurasian species that has got wide geographic distribution from western parts of Russia to Manchuria. The westernmost and separate population of R. humulifolius was found in Central Finland in 1917. The population was assumed to be formed via anthropogenic dispersal either in early nineteenth or early eighteenth century. In 20's the population was regarded as viable as it covered an area of a hectare almost as a monoculture in the field layer and it was protected by law in 1933. However, the state of the population started to decline in the same year as the area was ditched. In 1957 there were only fifteen rosettes left and five rosettes of were transplanted from the site to a private cottage garden just before the whole area was turned into a construction area and remaining population destroyed. The rescued population thrived but attempts to reintroduce plants from it to other sites considered to be suitable for the species were unsuccessful. Therefore, a research project initiated in 1986 for finding a suitable in vitro method for vegetative propagation of the plant. Eventually, the right formula for a substrate was found and 1500 new plants were produced in a couple of months. Now the in vitro propagated descendants of the five rescued ramets grow in several Finnish botanic gardens as part of their living collections and they also have been reintroduced to a natural site close to the original one in Central Finland. One can assume that a plant population that has gone through two bottlenecks – i.e. establishment of new population by presumably few long-distance dispersed genetic individuals and population decline to near extirpation – has got very narrow genetic diversity. Whether this is the case and whether inbreeding depression could explain e.g. the observed poor seed production in the population remains as a challenge for future research. Owing to ex situ conservation and in vitro technique applied for the first time to reintroduce an endangered species R. humulifolius is no more in immediate danger of extirpation. However, it is still classified as Critically Endangered (CR) as there is still only one population in the wild and it may be genetically depauperate.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Kilpailevien intressien ja kasvavien maankäyttöpaineiden maailmassa, luonnonsuojeluun kohdennettavat voimavarat tulee käyttää järkevästi. Spatiaalinen suojelupriorisointi koskee luonnonsuojeluun sopivien alueiden kustannustehokasta ja monipuolista tunnistamista, sekä vaihtoehtoisen suojelutoimenpiteiden ajallista ja alueellista kohdentamista. Suomi on Euroopan metsäisin maa, mutta yli 90 prosenttia Suomen metsistä on talouskäytössä. Laajan ja verrattain voimaperäisen metsänkäytön historian takia monet Suomalaiset metsälajit ja -elinympäristöt ovat nykyisin uhanalaisia. Samalla Suomen suojelualueverkosto on jakautunut maan yli epätasaisesti niin, että suojeluaste on suurin pohjoisessa, missä lajiston monimuotoisuus in matalinta. Tämän hetken kiireellisin suojelutoimenpide onkin suojelualueverkoston ekologisesti perusteltu laajentaminen Etelä-Suomessa. Väitöskirjallani on kolme tarkempaa tavoitetta. Ensiksi, tarkastelen Suomalaisten metsävaratietojen soveltuvuutta tarkan spatiaalisen priorisoinnin lähtöaineistoksi. Toisekseen, tutkin millaisia vaikutuksia valitulla mittakaavalla ja kytkeytyvyydellä on spatiaalisen suojelupriorisoinnin tuloksiin alueellisella ja valtakunnallisella tasolla. Kolmanneksi, osoitan Zonation-ohjelmistoa käyttäen, kuinka spatiaalista suojelupriorisointia voidaan hyödyntää käytännön suojelusuunnittelutyössä. Työssäni osoitan, että metsävaratietoon ja asiantuntijatyöhön perustuvat suojeluarvoa kuvaavat indeksit voivat toimia informatiivisen suojelupriorisoinnin pohjana. Tapaustutkimusten kautta osoitan myös, kuinka spatiaalisen suojelupriorisoinnin tuloksia voidaan soveltaa kansallisen suojeluohjelman, METSO:n, puitteissa sekä yksityis- että valtionmailla. Käytettävän aineiston resoluution tulisi kuitenkin olla mahdollisimman hyvin linjassa suojeluongelman sekä siihen liittyvien ekologisten prosessien kanssa. Aineiston yksityiskohtaisuus ja rakenne määrittävät lisäksi pitkälti, kuinka hyvin analyysien on mahdollista huomioida pienipiirteisiä metsäelinympäristöjä. Suojelualueiden välillä sijaitsevien metsäalueiden määrä ja laatu ovat tärkeitä tekijöitä monien metsälajien kannalta. Ekologisen kytkeytyvyyden huomioiminen tuottaa alueellisesti keskittyneempiä suojeluprioriteetteja. Paikallisen laatuun ja kytkeytyvyyteen saattaa kuitenkin liittyä valintatilanne. Kytkeytyvyyden korostaminen alueellisesti saattaa laskea paikallisesti korkealaatuisten, mutta huonosti kytkeytyneiden alueiden suhteellista arvoa. Kytkeytyvyyden ja paikallisen laadun tasapainoinen huomioimien suojelupriorisoinnissa vaatii siten harkintaa. Väitöskirjani käsittelee lisäksi useita tärkeitä tekijöitä, jotka on syytä huomioida toteutukseen tähtäävässä suojelupriorisoinnissa. Aineiston saatavuus rajoittaa usein sitä, millaisia suojelupriorisointianalyyseja on mahdollista tehdä. Siksi pitkäjänteinen ja avoimeen tietoon perustuva aineistopolitiikka on tarpeen. Priorisointiprosessiin liittyvän käsitteellisen mallin luominen auttaa muotoilemaan päätöksentekoon liittyvät kysymykset oikein, valitsemaan tehtävään sopivat työkalut sekä arvioimaan työhön liittyvät kustannukset ja hyödyt. Lopuksi on syytä myös huomioida, että menestyksestä suojelupriorisointia ei ole mahdollista tehdä ilman laajaa asiantuntija- ja sidosryhmäyhteistyötä. Väitöskirjassani esittelemäni analyysit, työvuot ja visualisointitavat voivat toimia pohjana muille vastaaville sovelluksille ja siten tukea paikallisten, alueellisten ja globaalien suojelutavoitteiden toteutumista.
  • Oldén, A.; Selonen, V. A O; Lehkonen, E.; Kotiaho, J. S (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Riparian forests surrounding streams host high biodiversity values, but are threatened by clear-cut logging. Narrow buffer strips of about 15 m are commonly left between the stream and the clear-cut, but studies suggest that the buffer width should be at least 30 m to protect riparian plant communities. Moreover, selective logging is often allowed on the buffer strips in order to increase economic gain. We used an experiment of 43 riparian sites where buffer strip width and selective logging within the strip were manipulated and supplemented with unlogged control sites. We report the short-term changes in the community composition of vascular plants and mosses near the stream (0–15 m distance). Results 15-meter buffers are not enough to protect the vascular plant communities from changes caused by a clear-cut irrespective of the selective logging on the buffer strip. For moss communities 15-m buffers were not enough if they were selectively logged. Relative to the control sites, we observed no significant changes in community composition of vascular plants or mosses in the sites with 30-m buffer strips, whether selectively logged or not. Conclusions We conclude that buffer strips of 15 m are not sufficient to protect streamside plant communities even in the short term, but that buffers of 30 m should be left on both sides of the stream. Selective logging appears not to have effects on buffers that are at least 30 m wide. Thus, it may be more reasonable to increase buffer width and to allow selective logging on the wider buffer in order to compensate for the economic losses than to leave all trees on a narrow and ecologically insufficient buffer.
  • Sinai, Iftah; Segev, Ori; Wei, Gilad; Oron, Talya; Merilä, Juha; Templeton, Alan R.; Blaustein, Leon; Greenbaum, Gili; Blank, Lior (2019)
    Genetic studies on core versus peripheral populations have yielded many patterns. This diversity in genetic patterns may reflect diversity in the meaning of peripheral populations as defined by geography, gene flow patterns, historical effects, and ecological conditions. Populations at the lower latitude periphery of a species' range are of particular concern because they may be at increased risk for extinction due to global climate change. In this work we aim to understand the impact of landscape and ecological factors on different geographical types of peripheral populations with respect to levels of genetic diversity and patterns of local population differentiation. We examined three geographical types of peripheral populations of the endangered salamander, Salamandra infraimmaculata, in Northern Israel, in the southernmost periphery of the genus Salamandra, by analyzing the variability in 15 microsatellite loci from 32 sites. Our results showed that: (1) genetic diversity decreases towards the geographical periphery of the species' range; (2) genetic diversity in geographically disjunct peripheral areas is low compared to the core or peripheral populations that are contiguous to the core and most likely affected by a founder effect; (3) ecologically marginal conditions enhance population subdivision. The patterns we found lead to the conclusion that genetic diversity is influenced by a combination of geographical, historical, and ecological factors. These complex patterns should be addressed when prioritizing areas for conservation.
  • Rantala, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, Viikin tropiikki-instituutti (VITRI), 2013)
    Tropical Forestry Reports
    Tropical forests are subject to global conservation efforts, while at the same time they are of direct value for local livelihoods in the developing world. Failure to reconcile conflicting global and local interests has led to situations where the costs of both forest loss and conservation are borne most heavily by those least able to afford them. Subsequently, conservation approaches have evolved from fully exclusionary ones (i.e. protected areas) to approaches involving local participation in forest management and efforts to mitigate livelihood losses or create social benefits from conservation. This study contributes to understanding how positive and negative social impacts of different forest conservation policies are distributed within forest adjacent communities in Tanzania, and what kind of governance practices may be associated with the observed outcomes. Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative social research methods, Studies I and II assessed the impacts and processes of compensated displacement from a forest protected area, the Derema corridor. Studies III and IV compared the outcomes and practices of Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) to expectations of increased equity and effectiveness of forest management in the context of democratic decentralization in the same landscape. The results suggest that the negative impacts of displacement from the Derema corridor were most felt by women and the poorest segments of the affected communities, due to restricted access to production resources and a failure to access monetary compensation for the lost assets. A minority of better-off farmers emerged as relative winners by accessing considerable compensation and investing in improved livelihoods. The outcomes were conditioned by the procedures followed, marked by unpreparedness and disruptions in the presence of the implementing agencies, as well as the limited agency of local actors, especially women, in negotiations over the conditions of conservation and compensation. The limitations of monetary compensation for conservation-induced human displacement are discussed. As a result of CBFM, forest tenure security of local village communities has increased, but strict village forest rules preclude livelihood benefits, while some villagers have incurred costs from land appropriation for village forest reserves. The outcomes of forest rights devolution in the East Usambaras may be seen as path-dependent institutional reproduction that follows the previous exclusionary models of forest conservation. Enhanced deliberative processes, access to accountability measures, and increased awareness of procedural rights are central issues for improving CBFM equity and sustainability.
  • Schiesari, Luis; Matias, Miguel G.; Prado, Paulo Inacio; Leibold, Mathew A.; Albert, Cecile H.; Howeth, Jennifer G.; Leroux, Shawn J.; Pardini, Renata; Siqueira, Tadeu; Brancalion, Pedro H. S.; Cabeza, Mar; Coutinho, Renato Mendes; Felizola Diniz-Filho, Jose Alexandre; Fournier, Bertrand; Lahr, Daniel J. G.; Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Martins, Ayana; Morsello, Carla; Peres-Neto, Pedro R.; Pillar, Valerio D.; Vazquez, Diego P. (2019)
    The complexity of ecological systems is a major challenge for practitioners and decision-makers who work to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental change. Here, we illustrate how metaecology - the study of spatial interdependencies among ecological systems through fluxes of organisms, energy, and matter - can enhance understanding and improve managing environmental change at multiple spatial scales. We present several case studies illustrating how the framework has leveraged decision-making in conservation, restoration and risk management. Nevertheless, an explicit incorporation of metaecology is still uncommon in the applied ecology literature, and in action guidelines addressing environmental change. This is unfortunate because the many facets of environmental change can be framed as modifying spatial context, connectedness and dominant regulating processes - the defining features of metaecological systems. Narrowing the gap between theory and practice will require incorporating system-specific realism in otherwise predominantly conceptual studies, as well as deliberately studying scenarios of environmental change. (C) 2019 Associacao Brasileira de Ciencia Ecologica e Conservacao. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda.
  • Hällfors, Maria; Lehvävirta, Susanna; Aandahl, Tone; Lehtimäki, Iida-Maria; Nilsson, Lars Ola; Ruotsalainen, Anna; Schulman, Leif E.; Hyvärinen, Marko T. (2020)
    Ongoing anthropogenic climate change alters the local climatic conditions to which species may be adapted. Information on species' climatic requirements and their intraspecific variation is necessary for predicting the effects of climate change on biodiversity. We used a climatic gradient to test whether populations of two allopatric varieties of an arctic seashore herb (Primula nutans ssp.finmarchica) show adaptation to their local climates and how a future warmer climate may affect them. Our experimental set-up combined a reciprocal translocation within the distribution range of the species with an experiment testing the performance of the sampled populations in warmer climatic conditions south of their range. We monitored survival, size, and flowering over four growing seasons as measures of performance and, thus, proxies of fitness. We found that both varieties performed better in experimental gardens towards the north. Interestingly, highest up in the north, the southern variety outperformed the northern one. Supported by weather data, this suggests that the climatic optima of both varieties have moved at least partly outside their current range. Further warming would make the current environments of both varieties even less suitable. We conclude that Primula nutans ssp. finmarchica is already suffering from adaptational lag due to climate change, and that further warming may increase this maladaptation, especially for the northern variety. The study also highlights that it is not sufficient to run only reciprocal translocation experiments. Climate change is already shifting the optimum conditions for many species and adaptation needs also to be tested outside the current range of the focal taxon in order to include both historic conditions and future conditions.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Hornett, Emily A. (2018)
    The Lepidoptera is one of the most widespread and recognisable insect orders. Due to their remarkable diversity, economic and ecological importance, moths and butterflies have been studied extensively over the last 200 years. More recently, the relationship between Lepidoptera and their heritable microbial endosymbionts has received increasing attention. Heritable endosymbionts reside within the host’s body and are often, but not exclusively, inherited through the female line. Advancements in molecular genetics have revealed that host-associated microbes are both extremely prevalent among arthropods and highly diverse. Furthermore, heritable endosymbionts have been repeatedly demonstrated to play an integral role in many aspects of host biology, particularly host reproduction. Here, we review the major findings of research of heritable microbial endosymbionts of butterflies and moths. We promote the Lepidoptera as important models in the study of reproductive manipulations employed by heritable endosymbionts, with the mechanisms underlying male-killing and feminisation currently being elucidated in moths and butterflies. We also reveal that the vast majority of research undertaken of Lepidopteran endosymbionts concerns Wolbachia. While this highly prevalent bacterium is undoubtedly important, studies should move towards investigating the presence of other, and interacting endosymbionts, and we discuss the merits of examining the microbiome of Lepidoptera to this end. We finally consider the importance of understanding the influence of endosymbionts under global environmental change and when planning conservation management of endangered Lepidoptera species.