Browsing by Subject "biodiversity conservation"

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  • Hjort, Jan; Tukiainen, Helena; Salminen, Henriikka; Kemppinen, Julia; Kiilunen, Petteri; Snåre, Henna; Alahuhta, Janne; Maliniemi, Tuija (Blackwell, 2022)
    Journal of applied ecology
    1. Current global environmental change calls for comprehensive and complementing approaches for biodiversity conservation. According to recent research, consideration of the diversity of Earth's abiotic features (i.e. geodiversity) could provide new insights and applications into the investigation and management of biodiversity. However, methods to map and quantify geodiversity at local scale have not been developed although this scale is important for conservation planning. Here, we introduce a field methodology for observing plot-scale geodiversity, pilot the method in an Arctic–alpine tundra environment, provide empirical evidence on the plot-scale biodiversity–geodiversity relationship and give guidance for practitioners on the implementation of the method. 2. The field method is based on observation of geofeatures, that is, elements of geology, geomorphology and hydrology, from a given area surrounding a location of species observations. As a result, the method provides novel information on the variation of abiotic nature for biodiversity research and management. The method was piloted in northern Norway and Finland by observing geofeatures from 76 sites at three scales (5, 10 and 25 m radii). To explore the relationship between measures of biodiversity and geodiversity, the occurrence of vascular plant species was recorded from 2 m × 2 m plots at the same sites. 3. According to the results, vascular plant species richness was positively correlated with the richness of geofeatures (Rs = 0.18–0.59). The connection was strongest in habitats characterized by deciduous shrubs. The method has a high potential for observing geofeatures without extensive geological or geomorphological training or field survey experience and could be applied by conservation practitioners. 4. Synthesis and applications. Consideration of geodiversity in understanding, analysing and conserving biodiversity could facilitate environmental management and ensure the long-term sustainability of ecosystem functions. With the developed method, it is possible to cost-efficiently observe the elements of geodiversity that are useful in ecology and biodiversity conservation. Our approach can be adapted in different ecosystems and biodiversity investigations. The method can be adjusted depending on the abiotic conditions, expertise of the observer(s) and the equipment available.
  • Gavioli, Anna; Milardi, Marco; Castaldelli, Giuseppe; Fano, Elisa Anna; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Aim Exotic species are a major threat to biodiversity and have modified native communities worldwide. Invasion processes have been extensively studied, but studies on species richness and beta diversity patterns of exotic and native species are rare. We investigate such patterns among exotic and native fish communities in upland and lowland rivers to explore their relationship with environmental drivers. Location Northern Italy. Methods Exotic and native fish beta diversity patterns were investigated separately in lowland and upland sites using Local Contribution to Beta Diversity (LCBD) and Species Contribution to Beta Diversity (SCBD) analyses. To examine the main environmental variables affecting the LCBD, a Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) method was used. Community dispersion among and within stream orders was investigated with the PERMDISP test. Results In lowland sites, exotic species richness was higher than native species richness, especially in large rivers and drainage canals. An opposite trend was found in upland sites, where native species richness was higher than exotic species richness, especially in large rivers. No clear LCBD patterns were found along stream orders in the lowland, whereas higher stream orders in the upland showed the highest LCBD. Its patterns in upland and lowland sites were related to a number of factors, such as total suspended solids and total phosphorus. Community dispersion among stream orders did not show a relationship with environmental heterogeneity. SCBD values were positively correlated with species occupancy in the study area, and native species showed higher SCBD values than exotic species only in the uplands. Main conclusions Large rivers in the uplands are important in maintaining native fish diversity and should be protected against invasive fish. In contrast, most lowland rivers have suffered from biological homogenization. Some rare native species can show low contribution to beta diversity, but still need conservation actions due to their risk of local extinction.
  • dos Santos, J. W.; Correia, R. A.; Malhado, A. C. M.; Campos-Silva, J.; Teles, D.; Jepson, P.; Ladle, R. J. (2020)
    Scientific knowledge of species and the ecosystems they inhabit is the cornerstone of modern conservation. However, research effort is not spread evenly among taxa (taxonomic bias), which may constrain capacity to identify conservation risk and to implement effective responses. Addressing such biases requires an understanding of factors that promote or constrain the use of a particular species in research projects. To this end, we quantified conservation science knowledge of the world's extant non-marine mammal species (n = 4108) based on the number of published documents in journals indexed on Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science (TM). We use an innovative hurdle model approach to assess the relative importance of several ecological, biogeographical and cultural factors for explaining variation in research production between species. The most important variable explaining the presence/absence of conservation research was scientific capacity of countries within the range of the species, followed by body mass and years since the taxonomic description. Research volume (more than one document) was strongly associated with number of years since the data describing on that species, followed by scientific capacity within the range of species, high body mass and invasiveness. The threat status was weakly associated to explain the presence/absence and research volume in conservation research. These results can be interpreted as a consequence of the dynamic interplay between the perceived need for conservation research about a species and its appropriateness as a target of research. As anticipated, the scientific capacity of the countries where a species is found is a strong driver of conservation research bias, reflecting the high variation in conservation research funding and human resources between countries. Our study suggests that this bias could be most effectively reduced by a combination of investing in pioneering research, targeted funding and supporting research in countries with low scientific capacity and high biodiversity.
  • Parker, Kim; De Vos, Alta; Clements, Hayley S.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Reinette (2020)
    Private land conservation areas (PLCAs) have become critical for achieving global conservation goals, but we lack understanding of how and when these areas respond to global pressures and opportunities. In southern Africa, where many PLCAs rely on trophy hunting as an income-generating strategy, a potential ban on trophy hunting locally or abroad holds unknown consequences for the future conservation of these lands. In this study, we investigate the consequences of a potential trophy hunting ban in PLCAs in two biodiversity hotspots in South Africa's Eastern and Western Cape provinces. We used semistructured interviews with PLCA managers and owners to elicit perceived impacts of an internationally imposed trophy hunting ban on conservation activities in PLCAs, and to probe alternative viable land uses. The majority of interviewees believed that both the economic viability of their PLCA and biodiversity would be lost following a hunting ban. Owners would primarily consider transitioning to ecotourism or livestock farming, but these options were constrained by the social-ecological context of their PLCA (e.g., competition with other PLCAs, ecological viability of farming). Our results suggest that a trophy hunting ban may have many unintended consequences for biodiversity conservation, national economies, and the livelihoods of PLCA owners and employees. Along with similar social-ecological studies in other areas and contexts, our work can inform policy decisions around global trophy hunting regulation.
  • Zhao, Kangshun; He, Yuhan; Su, Guohuan; Xu, Congjun; Xu, Xiaoqi; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Peiyu (2022)
    Functional diversity is critical to ecosystem stability and resilience to disturbances as it supports the delivery of ecosystem services on which human societies rely. However, changes in functional diversity over space and time, as well as the importance of particular marine fish species to functional space are less known. Here, we reported a temporal change in the functional diversity of marine capture fisheries from all coastal provinces in China from 1989 to 2018. We suggested that both functional evenness (FEve) and functional divergence (FDiv) changed substantially over time, especially with considerable geographic variation in FEve in the detected patterns. Even within the same sea, the relative contributions of fishes with various water column positions and trophic levels in different waters have different patterns. Together these results underline the need of implementing specific climate-adaptive functional diversity conservation measures and sustainable fisheries management in different waters.
  • Määttänen, Aino-Maija; Virkkala, Raimo; Leikola, Niko; Heikkinen, Risto K. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)
    Ecological Processes
    Background Protected areas (PA) are central to biodiversity, but their efficiency is challenged by human-induced habitat loss and fragmentation. In the Fennoscandian boreal region, forestry with clearcutting is a threat to biodiversity causing the loss of mature forest elements and deterioration of ecological processes in forest landscapes, ultimately affecting PAs via declined structural connectivity. This paper aims to (1) determine PAs with high, red-listed species concentrations; (2) estimate the change in forest habitat around these PAs on different spatial scales; and (3) determine if forest management intensity is higher around biologically most valuable PAs. Occurrences of red-listed forest-dwelling species in Finland were used to identify PAs harbouring these species and to produce site-specific importance indices. CORINE landcover data was used as a baseline for the distribution of forests to assess the cover of clear-cuttings from 2001 to 2019 with the Global Forest Change (GFC) data set in three buffer areas around the PAs with occurrences of red-listed species. Results The largest proportion of clear-cuts occurred in 1 km and 10 km buffers around the PAs in the southern and middle boreal zones, being ca. 20%. This indicates that the forest habitat is degrading fast at regional and landscape levels. On the positive side, the change in forest cover was lower around the biologically most important PAs compared to other PAs with red-listed species. Conclusions Open and free satellite-data based assessments of the cover and change of forests provide reliable estimates about the rates at which mature and old-growth forests are being converted into young managed ones in Finland mainly via clear-cuts on different scales around PAs. The rate of clear-cuts was lowest in adjacent buffer areas next to the most species-rich PAs, which provides opportunities for biodiversity conservation efforts to be targeted to the remaining mature and old-growth forests found in the vicinity of these areas.
  • Pukkala, Timo; Kangas, Jyrki; Kniivilä, Matleena; Tiainen, Anne-Mari (The Finnish Society of Forest Science and The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1997)
    The study proposes a technique which enables the computation of user-defined indices for species diversity. These indices are derived from characteristics, called diversity indicators, of inventory plots, stand compartments, and the whole forest holding. The study discusses the modifications required to be made to typical forest planning systems due to this kind of biodiversity computation. A case study illustrating the use of the indices and a modified forest planning system is provided. In the case study, forest-level species diversity index was computed from the volume of dead wood, volume of broadleaved trees, area of old forest, and between-stand variety. At the stand level, the area of old forest was replaced by stand age, and variety was described by within-stand variety. All but one of the indicators were further partitioned into two to four sub-indicators. For example, the volume of broadleaved trees was divided into volumes of birch, aspen, willow, and other tree species. The partial contribution of an indicator to the diversity index was obtained from a sub-priority function, determined separately for each indicator. The diversity index was obtained when the partial contributions were multiplied by the weights of the corresponding indicators and then were summed. The production frontiers computed for the harvested volume and diversity indices were concave, especially for the forest-level diversity index, indicating that diversity can be maintained at satisfactory level with medium harvest levels.
  • Lundberg, Piia; Vainio, Annukka; Ojala, Ann; Arponen, Anni (2019)
    We explored the relationship between materialism, awareness of environmental consequences and environmental philanthropic behaviour with a web survey (n=2,079) targeted at potential donors living in Finland. Environmental philanthropic behaviour comprise of donations of money and/or time to environmental charities. The awareness of environmental consequences was divided into egoistic, altruistic and biospheric concerns. Biospheric and egoistic concerns were positively, while materialism was negatively related to environmental philanthropic behaviour. Materialism was related to preference of charismatic species when choosing a target for donation. The results have implications for conservation marketing emphasising the importance of taking the different donor segments into account.
  • Angelstam, Per; Fedoriak, Mariia; Cruz, Fatima; Muñoz-Rojas, José; Yamelynets, Taras; Manton, Michael; Washbourne, Carla-Leanne; Dobrynin, Denis; Izakovičova, Zita; Jansson, Nicklas; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kanka, Robert; Kavtarishvili, Marika; Kopperoinen, Leena; Lazdinis, Marius; Metzger, Marc J.; Özüt, Deniz; Gjorgjieska, Dori Pavloska; Sijtsma, Frans J.; Stryamets, Nataliya; Tolunay, Ahmet; Turkoglu, Turkay; Moolen, Bert van der; Zagidullina, Asiya; Zhuk, Alina (2021)
    Ecology and Society 26 (1): 11
    Achieving sustainable development as an inclusive societal process in rural landscapes, and sustainability in terms of functional green infrastructures for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, are wicked challenges. Competing claims from various sectors call for evidence-based adaptive collaborative governance. Leveraging such approaches requires maintenance of several forms of social interactions and capitals. Focusing on Pan-European regions with different environmental histories and cultures, we estimate the state and trends of two groups of factors underpinning rural landscape stewardship, namely, (1) traditional rural landscape and novel face-to-face as well as virtual fora for social interaction, and (2) bonding, bridging, and linking forms of social capital. We applied horizon scanning to 16 local landscapes located in 18 countries, representing Pan-European social-ecological and cultural gradients. The resulting narratives, and rapid appraisal knowledge, were used to estimate portfolios of different fora for social interactions and forms of social capital supporting landscape stewardship. The portfolios of fora for social interactions were linked to societal cultures across the European continent: “self-expression and secular-rational values” in the northwest, “Catholic” in the south, and “survival and traditional authority values” in the East. This was explained by the role of traditional secular and religious local meeting places. Virtual internet-based fora were most widespread. Bonding social capitals were the strongest across the case study landscapes, and linking social capitals were the weakest. This applied to all three groups of fora. Pan-European social-ecological contexts can be divided into distinct clusters with respect to the portfolios of different fora supporting landscape stewardship, which draw mostly on bonding and bridging forms of social capital. This emphasizes the need for regionally and culturally adapted approaches to landscape stewardship, which are underpinned by evidence-based knowledge about how to sustain green infrastructures based on both forest naturalness and cultural landscape values. Sharing knowledge from comparative studies can strengthen linking social capital.
  • Nicolosi, Giuseppe; Mammola, Stefano; Costanzo, Salvatore; Sabella, Giorgio; Cirrincione, Rosolino; Signorello, Giovanni; Isaia, Marco (2021)
    Human activities in subterranean environments can affect different ecosystem components, including the resident fauna. Subterranean terrestrial invertebrates are particularly sensitive to environmental change, especially microclimatic variations. For instance, microclimate modifications caused by the visitors may directly affect local fauna in caves opened to the public. However, since numerous factors act synergistically in modulating the distribution and abundance of subterranean species, it remains challenging to differentiate the impact of human intervention from that of other factors. Therefore, evidence of the impact of tourism on cave invertebrate fauna remains scarce. Over a year and with approximately two visits a month, we investigated the effects of the presence of visitors on the subterranean endemic woodlouse Armadillidium lagrecai in the strict natural reserve of Monello Cave (Sicily, Italy). We found that natural microclimatic fluctuations, and not direct human disturbance, were the main factors driving the distribution of A. lagrecai. Specifically, A. lagrecai select for more climatically stable areas of the cave, where the temperature was constantly warm and the relative humidity close to saturation. We also observed a significant temporal effect, with a greater abundance of A. lagrecai in summer and a gradual decrease during the winter months. The number of visitors in the Monello cave had no effect on the abundance and distribution of A. lagrecai. However, considering the high sensitivity of the species to microclimatic variations, it seems likely that a significant increase in the number of visitors to the cave could indirectly affect this species by altering local microclimate. Constant monitoring of the environmental parameters within the cave is therefore recommended.
  • Kuuluvainen, Timo; Angelstam, Per; Frelich, Lee E.; Jogiste, Kalev; Koivula, Matti; Kubota, Yasuhiro; Lafleur, Benoit; Macdonald, Ellen (2021)
    Global forest area is declining rapidly, along with degradation of the ecological condition of remaining forests. Hence it is necessary to adopt forest management approaches that can achieve a balance between (1) human management designs based on homogenization of forest structure to efficiently deliver economic values and (2) naturally emerging self-organized ecosystem dynamics that foster heterogeneity, biodiversity, resilience and adaptive capacity. Natural disturbance-based management is suggested to provide such an approach. It is grounded on the premise that disturbance is a key process maintaining diversity of ecosystem structures, species and functions, and adaptive and evolutionary potential, which functionally link to sustainability of ecosystem services supporting human well-being. We review the development, ecological and evolutionary foundations and applications of natural disturbance-based forest management. With emphasis on boreal forests, we compare this approach with two mainstream approaches to sustainable forest management, retention and continuous-cover forestry. Compared with these approaches, natural disturbance-based management provides a more comprehensive framework, which is compatible with current understanding of multiple-scale ecological processes and structures, which underlie biodiversity, resilience and adaptive potential of forest ecosystems. We conclude that natural disturbance-based management provides a comprehensive ecosystem-based framework for managing forests for human needs of commodity production and immaterial values, while maintaining forest health in the rapidly changing global environment.
  • Diduck, Alan P.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Rodela, Romina; Moquin, Robert; Boerchers, Morrissa (2020)
    Nature-based solutions directed at improving biodiversity, on both public and private land, can provide multiple benefits, but many of these benefits are not being fully realised. One reason is the normative and cognitive disconnect between people and nature, highlighting the need for new learning programs to foster better nature connections. More is known about learning in the context of community gardens than in relation to private gardens. Using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis, this study explores learning among residents engaged in home gardening for biodiversity in Winnipeg, Canada. We uncovered diverse and interconnected learning processes/activities founded on formative childhood experiences. The processes/activities were non-formal and informal, and included individual, social and blended experiences. Learning outcomes were also mutually influencing and multi-levelled, comprising normative, cognitive/behavioural and relational changes. The results support an analytical framework suggesting how learning-focused initiatives can enhance biodiversity on private property and aid in delivery of nature-based solutions.
  • European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) Consortium; Formenti, Giulio; Kratochwil, Claudius F.; Primmer, Craig R. (2022)
    Progress in genome sequencing now enables the large-scale generation of reference genomes. Various international initiatives aim to generate reference genomes representing global biodiversity. These genomes provide unique insights into genomic diversity and architecture, thereby enabling comprehensive analyses of population and functional genomics, and are expected to revolutionize conservation genomics.
  • O'Bryan, Christopher J.; Garnett, Stephen T.; Fa, Julia E.; Leiper, Ian; Rehbein, Jose; Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Jackson, Micha V.; Jonas, Harry D.; Brondizio, Eduardo S.; Burgess, Neil D.; Robinson, Catherine J.; Zander, Kerstin K.; Molnar, Zsolt; Venter, Oscar; Watson, James E.M. (2021)
    Indigenous Peoples’ lands cover over one-quarter of Earth's surface, a significant proportion of which is still free from industrial-level human impacts. As a result, Indigenous Peoples and their lands are crucial for the long-term persistence of Earth's biodiversity and ecosystem services. Yet, information on species composition on these lands globally remains largely unknown. We conducted the first comprehensive analysis of terrestrial mammal composition across mapped Indigenous lands based on data on area of habitat (AOH) for 4460 mammal species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. We overlaid each species’ AOH on a current map of Indigenous lands and found that 2695 species (60% of assessed mammals) had ≥10% of their ranges on Indigenous Peoples’ lands and 1009 species (23%) had >50% of their ranges on these lands. For threatened species, 473 (47%) occurred on Indigenous lands with 26% having >50% of their habitat on these lands. We also found that 935 mammal species (131 categorized as threatened) had ≥ 10% of their range on Indigenous Peoples’ lands that had low human pressure. Our results show how important Indigenous Peoples’ lands are to the successful implementation of conservation and sustainable development agendas worldwide.
  • Joa, Bettina; Winkel, Georg; Primmer, Eeva (Elsevier, 2018)
    Land Use Policy 79 (2018), 520-530
    Local ecological knowledge and the land use practices of forest resource users who rely on this form of knowledge play a crucial role for biodiversity conservation in managed forests. The understandings of, and approaches taken to analyze, such knowledge are diverse. To systematize the available knowledge, we conduct a review of 51 studies addressing local ecological knowledge (LEK) and forest biodiversity conservation practice. We analyze what specific kind of knowledge is considered, who holds the knowledge, how this knowledge is actively applied in practice and how it relates to biodiversity conservation. The review shows that local ecological knowledge and forest biodiversity conservation are linked through various socially shared aspects, such as values and norms, spiritual beliefs and perceptions of ecosystem functions and benefits as well as operational conditions, including livelihood strategies and economic constraints. While many of the reviewed studies evaluate local knowledge as holding great promise for biodiversity conservation, the conclusions regarding practical implications of including this knowledge into forest and conservation management are mixed. In particular, the interaction of “traditional” conservation paradigms rooted in local ecological knowledge and science-based “modern” paradigms is not thoroughly addressed. This applies especially to European countries, where research on local ecological knowledge is scattered. Drawing on these observations, we conclude that a greater focus on the ways in which societies in these countries can (re)generate, transform and apply local ecological knowledge can play a crucial role in integrating conservation objectives into forest management under changing environmental conditions.