Browsing by Subject "Land-use change"

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  • Santangeli, Andrea; Wistbacka, Ralf; Morosinotto, Chiara; Raulo, Aura (2019)
    Intact ecosystems are being lost or modified worldwide, and many animal species are now forced to live in altered landscapes. A large amount of scientific studies have focused on understanding direct effects of habitat alterations on species occurrence, abundance, breeding success, and other life history aspects. Much less attention has been placed on understanding how habitat alterations impact on the physiology of species, e.g., via elevated chronic stress when living in an altered landscape. Here, we quantify the effects of individual age and sex, as well as effects of landscape and social factors on chronic stress of an endangered forest specialist species, the Siberian flying squirrel Pteromys volans. We collected hair samples over 2years from across 192 flying squirrels and quantified their chronic stress response via cortisol concentrations. We then ran statistical models to relate cortisol concentrations with landscape and social factors. We show that cortisol concentrations in flying squirrels are neither affected by habitat amount and connectivity, nor by the density of conspecifics in the area. We however found that cortisol concentration was higher in adults than in pups, and in males compared with females. Lack of an effect of environmental factors on cortisol concentrations may indicate low physiological sensitivity to alterations in the surrounding environment, possibly due to low densities of predators that could induce stress in the study area. Further research should focus on possible effects of varying predator densities, alone and in interaction with landscape features, in shaping chronic stress of this and other species.
  • Trivino, Maria; Kujala, Heini; Araujo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
    Species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global environmental changes and additional protected areas are needed to encompass the corresponding changes in the distributions of their habitats. Conservation policies are likely to become obsolete unless they integrate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on biodiversity. We identify conservation priority areas for current and future projected distributions of Iberian bird species. We then investigate the extent to which global change informed priority areas are: (i) covered by existing protected area networks (national protected areas and Natura 2000); (ii) threatened by agricultural or urban land-use changes. We use outputs of species distributions models fitted with climatic data as inputs in spatial prioritization tools to identify conservation priority areas for 168 bird species. We use projections of land-use change to then discriminate between threatened and non-threatened priority areas. 19% of the priority areas for birds are covered by national protected areas and 23% are covered by Natura 2000 sites. The spatial mismatch between protected area networks and priority areas for birds is projected to increase with climate change. But there are opportunities to improve the protection of birds under climate change, as half of the priority areas are currently neither protected nor in conflict with urban or agricultural land-uses. We identify critical areas for bird conservation both under current and climate change conditions, and propose that they could guide the establishment of new conservation areas across the Iberian Peninsula complementing existing protected areas.
  • Kallio, Maarit Helena; Hogarth, Nicholas John; Moeliono, Moira; Brockhaus, Maria; Cole, Robert; Bong, Indah Waty; Wong, Grace Yee (2019)
    The rapid expansion of hybrid maize in the uplands of northern Laos is viewed by the government as meeting policy aims related to green economic development. Yet, growing evidence of negative consequences of maize expansion are emerging. Based on farmers' perceptions, we study: (1) farmers' reasons for adopting and abandoning maize, and; (2) implications of commercial maize expansion on local livelihood security and inclusiveness (food supply, income, risk coping, and ability to join maize growing), and environmental sustainability (productivity, and soil and forest quality) over time (2013 and 2016). Results show that maize has advantages in terms of labour allocation, and it provides much-needed cash income. Yet, swidden is the main food provider and an essential safety net for unforeseen risks (including maize crop failures or price fluctuations). The way that maize was produced did not meet the criteria of green economic development due to its negative effects on the environment (soil and forest degradation) and socioeconomic sustainability (household differentiation, increased economic risks, debts, and food insecurity). By providing a local perspective, this study encourages a critical reflection of the underlying assumptions and conceptualization of the green economy approach in Laos, and argues for policies and measures that consider a more holistic perspective of human wellbeing and the environment.