Browsing by Subject "Protected areas"

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  • Iannella, Mattia; Fiasca, Barbara; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Di Cicco, Mattia; Biondi, Maurizio; Mammola, Stefano; Galassi, Diana M. P. (2021)
    Conservation planning aimed at halting biodiversity loss has seldom focused on groundwater environments due to the lack of suitable management tools and data. Using harpacticoid crustaceans as a test case, we explore the potential of implementing an approach based on Conservation-Relevant Hotspots for practical conservation of groundwater biodiversity. Conservation-Relevant Hotspots are identified by intersecting species richness, endemicity, and taxonomic distinctness with the aim to minimize the total area to protect. We show that, by targeting five Conservation-Relevant Hotspots that cover only 1.9% of the European land surface, one would protect as much as 44% of the harpacticoid crustacean richness, 93% of its endemicity, and 98% of its taxonomic distinctness. About 28% of the area occupied by these hotspots overlaps with protected areas, which calls for an increase in their protection coverage. Our framework proved a useful tool for conservation planning of environments where spatial or socio-economic constraints occur.
  • van Riper, Carena; Winkler-Schor, Sophia; Foelske, Lorraine; Keller, Rose; Braito, Michael; Raymond, Christopher; Eriksson, Max; Golebie, Elizabeth; Johnson, Dana (2019)
    Human behavior is influenced by an array of psychological processes such as environmental values. Despite the importance of understanding the reasons why people engage in activities that minimize environmental degradation, empirical research rarely integrates different types of values simultaneously to provide more complete and multi-faceted insights on how values contribute to environmental sustainability. Drawing from on-site survey data collected in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska (n = 641), we used two-step structural equation modeling to test how variation in behavioral patterns was explained by the cultural, individual, and social values of visitors to a national park. We fused various disciplinary perspectives on the value concept to demonstrate how individual- and group-level dynamics were integral for predicting behavior and better understanding aggregated preferences for environmental conditions in the context of a U.S. protected area.
  • 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.
  • Pavon-Jordan, Diego; Abdou, Web; Azafzaf, Hichem; Balaz, Michal; Bino, Taulant; Borg, John J.; Bozic, Luca; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Clausen, Preben; Sniauksta, Laimonas; Dakki, Mohamed; Devos, Koen; Domsa, Cristi; Encarnacao, Vitor; Etayeb, Khaled; Farago, Sandor; Fox, Anthony D.; Frost, Teresa; Gaudard, Clemence; Georgiev, Valeri; Goratze, Irakli; Hornman, Menno; Keller, Verena; Kostiushyn, Vasiliy; Langendoen, Tom; Ieronymidou, Christina; Lewis, Lesley J.; Lorentsen, Svein-Hakon; Luigujoe, Leho; Meissner, Wlodzimierz; Mikuska, Tibor; Molina, Blas; Musil, Petr; Musilova, Zuzana; Nagy, Szabolcs; Natykanets, Viktor; Nilsson, Leif; Paquet, Jean-Yves; Portolou, Danae; Ridzon, Josef; Santangeli, Andrea; Sayoud, Samir; Sciban, Marko; Stipniece, Antra; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Topic, Goran; Uzunova, Danka; Vizi, Andrej; Wahl, Johannes; Yavuz, Kiraz E.; Zenatello, Marco; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Lawicki, Lukasz (2020)
    Migratory waterbirds require an effectively conserved cohesive network of wetland areas throughout their range and life-cycle. Under rapid climate change, protected area (PA) networks need to be able to accommodate climate-driven range shifts in wildlife if they are to continue to be effective in the future. Thus, we investigated geographical variation in the relationship between local temperature anomaly and the abundance of 61 waterbird species during the wintering season across Europe and North Africa during 1990-2015. We also compared the spatio-temporal effects on abundance of sites designated as PAs, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), both, or neither designation (Unlisted). Waterbird abundance was positively correlated with temperature anomaly, with this pattern being strongest towards north and east Europe. Waterbird abundance was higher inside IBAs, whether they were legally protected or not. Trends in waterbird abundance were also consistently more positive inside both protected and unprotected IBAs across the whole study region, and were positive in Unlisted wetlands in southwestern Europe and North Africa. These results suggest that IBAs are important sites for wintering waterbirds, but also that populations are shifting to unprotected wetlands (some of which are IBAs). Such IBAs may therefore represent robust candidate sites to expand the network of legally protected wetlands under climate change in north-eastern Europe. These results underscore the need for monitoring to understand how the effectiveness of site networks is changing under climate change.
  • Cebrián-Piqueras, M. A.; Filyushkina, A.; Johnson, D. N.; Lo, V. B.; López-Rodríguez, M. D.; March, H.; Oteros-Rozas, E.; Peppler-Lisbach, C.; Quintas-Soriano, C.; Raymond, C. M.; Ruiz-Mallén, I.; van Riper, C. J.; Zinngrebe, Y.; Plieninger, T. (2020)
    Context Most protected areas are managed based on objectives related to scientific ecological knowledge of species and ecosystems. However, a core principle of sustainability science is that understanding and including local ecological knowledge, perceptions of ecosystem service provision and landscape vulnerability will improve sustainability and resilience of social-ecological systems. Here, we take up these assumptions in the context of protected areas to provide insight on the effectiveness of nature protection goals, particularly in highly human-influenced landscapes. Objectives We examined how residents' ecological knowledge systems, comprised of both local and scientific, mediated the relationship between their characteristics and a set of variables that represented perceptions of ecosystem services, landscape change, human-nature relationships, and impacts. Methods We administered a face-to-face survey to local residents in the Sierra de Guadarrama protected areas, Spain. We used bi- and multi-variate analysis, including partial least squares path modeling to test our hypotheses. Results Ecological knowledge systems were highly correlated and were instrumental in predicting perceptions of water-related ecosystem services, landscape change, increasing outdoors activities, and human-nature relationships. Engagement with nature, socio-demographics, trip characteristics, and a rural-urban gradient explained a high degree of variation in ecological knowledge. Bundles of perceived ecosystem services and impacts, in relation to ecological knowledge, emerged as social representation on how residents relate to, understand, and perceive landscapes. Conclusions Our findings provide insight into the interactions between ecological knowledge systems and their role in shaping perceptions of local communities about protected areas. These results are expected to inform protected area management and landscape sustainability.
  • Fraixedas, Sara; Linden, Andreas; Meller, Kalle; Lindström, Åke; Keiss, Oskars; Kålås, John Atle; Husby, Magne; Leivits, Agu; Leivits, Meelis; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2017)
    Northern European peatlands are important habitats for biological conservation because they support rich biodiversity and unique species compositions. However, historical management of peatland habitats has had negative consequences for biodiversity and their degradation remains a major conservation concern. Despite increasing awareness of the conservation value of peatlands, the statuses and ecological requirements of peat land species have remained largely understudied. Here, we first analysed temporal trends of Northern European peatland birds to document the status of their populations using bird data from five different countries. Second, we used Finnish monitoring data to assess habitat preferences of peatland bird species, hence helping to target conservation to the most relevant habitat types. There was a general decline of 40% in Northern European peatland bird population sizes in 1981-2014 (speed of decline 1.5%/year) largely driven by Finland, where populations declined almost 50% (2.0% annual decline). In Sweden and Norway, peatland bird populations declined by 20% during 1997-2014 (1.0% annual decline). In contrast, southern populations in Estonia and Latvia, where the majority of open peatlands are protected, showed a 40% increase during 1981-2014 (1.0% annual increase). The most important habitat characteristics preferred by common peatland species in Finland were openness and low tree height, while wetness proved to be an important feature for waders. Drainage of peatlands had clear negative effects on the densities of many species, with the only exception of rustic bunting, which specializes on edge habitats. Our findings call for more effective conservation actions in Northern European peatland habitats, especially in Finland where peatland drainage represents a major threat to biodiversity.
  • Dudley, Nigel; Jonas, Holly; Nelson, Fred; Parish, Jeffrey; Pyhälä, Aili Adelita; Stolton, Sue; Watson, James (2018)
    Continued biodiversity loss has prompted calls for half of the planet to be set aside for nature - including E. O Wilson's "Half-Earth" approach and the Wild Foundation's "Nature Needs Half" initiative. These efforts have provided a necessary wake-up call and drawn welcome global attention for the urgent need for increased action on conserving biodiversity and nature in general. Yet they have also sparked debate within the conservation community, particularly due to the huge practical and political obstacles to establishing or expanding protected areas on this scale. The new designation of "other effective area-based conservation measures" (OECMs) provides the opportunity for formal recognition of and support for areas delivering conservation outcomes outside the protected area estate. We argue that OECMs are essential to the achievement of big and bold conservation targets such as Half-Earth. But integration of OECMs into the conservation estate requires fundamental changes in protected area planning and how the conservation community deals with human rights and social safeguards issues; it therefore challenges our understanding of what constitutes "conservation". It will only succeed if the key drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss are addressed in the whole planet. A broad, multifaceted and innovative approach, coupled with ambitious targets, provides our best hope yet of addressing complex conservation challenges. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Puhakka, Riikka; Pitkänen, Kati; Siikamäki, Pirkko (2017)
    Following the growth of nature-based tourism, national parks and other protected areas have become important tourist attractions and tools for regional development. Meanwhile, research on the impact of nature on human health and well-being is increasing and taken into account in park management. This study examines health and well-being benefits perceived by visitors to Finland's protected areas. It is based on survey data from five national parks and one strict nature reserve in 2013–2015: an on-site visitor survey (N = 3152) and an Internet-based health and well-being survey (N = 1054). The study indicates that visitors’ perceived benefits to their well-being were highly positive. Visits to protected areas promoted psychological, physical, and social benefits. In particular, park visits were found to provide strong and multi-faceted, long-lasting, embodied and sensory well-being experiences as well as escape from everyday life and work. Overnight visitors reported more well-being benefits than day visitors, and different types of park had different well-being benefits. The study suggests that the potential benefits of protected areas for public health are significant, emphasizing the need to integrate health and well-being arguments into the neoliberalist politics assessing the economic benefits of protected areas and their role in regional development.
  • Pfeifer, Marion; Gonsamo, Alemu; Woodgate, William; Cayuela, Luis; Marshall, Andrew R.; Ledo, Alicia; Paine, Timothy C. E.; Marchant, Rob; Burt, Andrew; Calders, Kim; Courtney-Mustaphi, Colin; Cuni-Sanchez, Aida; Deere, Nicolas J.; Denu, Dereje; de Tanago, Jose Gonzalez; Hayward, Robin; Lau, Alvaro; Macia, Manuel J.; Olivier, Pieter I.; Pellikka, Petri; Seki, Hamidu; Shirima, Deo; Trevithick, Rebecca; Wedeux, Beatrice; Wheeler, Charlotte; Munishi, Pantaleo K. T.; Martin, Thomas; Mustari, Abdul; Platts, Philip J. (2018)
    Background: Canopy structure, defined by leaf area index (LAI), fractional vegetation cover (FCover) and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR), regulates a wide range of forest functions and ecosystem services. Spatially consistent field-measurements of canopy structure are however lacking, particularly for the tropics. Methods: Here, we introduce the Global LAI database: a global dataset of field-based canopy structure measurements spanning tropical forests in four continents (Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas). We use these measurements to test for climate dependencies within and across continents, and to test for the potential of anthropogenic disturbance and forest protection to modulate those dependences. Results: Using data collected from 887 tropical forest plots, we show that maximum water deficit, defined across the most arid months of the year, is an important predictor of canopy structure, with all three canopy attributes declining significantly with increasing water deficit. Canopy attributes also increase with minimum temperature, and with the protection of forests according to both active (within protected areas) and passive measures (through topography). Once protection and continent effects are accounted for, other anthropogenic measures (e.g. human population) do not improve the model. Conclusions: We conclude that canopy structure in the tropics is primarily a consequence of forest adaptation to the maximum water deficits historically experienced within a given region. Climate change, and in particular changes in drought regimes may thus affect forest structure and function, but forest protection may offer some resilience against this effect.