Browsing by Subject "biodiversity"

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  • Haahtela, Tari (2019)
    Biodiversity hypothesis states that contact with natural environments enriches the human microbiome, promotes immune balance and protects from allergy and inflammatory disorders. We are protected by two nested layers of biodiversity, microbiota of the outer layer (soil, natural waters, plants, animals) and inner layer (gut, skin, airways). The latter inhabits our body and is colonized from the outer layer. Explosion of human populations along with cultural evolution is profoundly changing our environment and lifestyle. Adaptive immunoregulatory circuits and dynamic homeostasis are at stake in the newly emerged urban surroundings. In allergy, and chronic inflammatory disorders in general, exploring the determinants of immunotolerance is the key for prevention and more effective treatment. Loss of immunoprotective factors, derived from nature, is a new kind of health risk poorly acknowledged until recently. The paradigm change has been implemented in the Finnish allergy programme (2008-2018), which emphasized tolerance instead of avoidance. The first results are promising, as allergy burden has started to reduce. The rapidly urbanizing world is facing serious biodiversity loss with global warming, which are interconnected. Biodiversity hypothesis of health and disease has societal impact, for example, on city planning, food and energy production and nature conservation. It has also a message for individuals for health and well-being: take nature close, to touch, eat, breathe, experience and enjoy. Biodiverse natural environments are dependent on planetary health, which should be a priority also among health professionals.
  • Jukola-Sulonen, Eeva-Liisa; Salemaa, Maija (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1985)
  • Soininen, Janne; Heino, Jani; Wang, Jianjun (2018)
    Aim: The number of studies investigating the nestedness and turnover components of beta diversity has increased substantially, but our general understanding of the drivers of turnover and nestedness remains elusive. Here, we examined the effects of species traits, spatial extent, latitude and ecosystem type on the nestedness and turnover components of beta diversity. Location: Global. Time period: 1968-2017. Major taxa studied: From bacteria to mammals. Methods: From the 99 studies that partition total beta diversity into its turnover and nestedness components, we assembled 269 and 259 data points for the pairwise and multiple site beta-diversity metrics, respectively. Our data covered a broad variation in species dispersal type, body size and trophic position. The data were from freshwater, marine and terrestrial realms, and encompassed geographical areas from the tropics to near polar regions. We used linear modelling as a meta-regression tool to analyse the data. Results: Pairwise turnover, multiple site turnover and total beta diversity all decreased significantly with latitude. In contrast, multiple site nestedness showed a positive relationship with latitude. Beta-diversity components did not generally differ among the realms. The turnover component and total beta diversity increased with spatial extent, whereas nestedness was scale invariant for pairwise metrics. Multiple site beta-diversity components did not vary with spatial extent. Surprisingly, passively dispersed organisms had lower turnover and total beta diversity than flying organisms. Body size showed a relatively weak relationship with beta diversity but had important interactions with trophic position, thus also affecting beta diversity via interactive effects. Producers had significantly higher average pairwise turnover and total beta diversity than carnivores. Main conclusions: The present results provide evidence that species turnover, being consistently the larger component of total beta diversity, and nestedness are related to the latitude of the study area and intrinsic organismal features. We showed that two beta-diversity components had generally opposing patterns with regard to latitude. We highlight that beta-diversity partition may give additional insights into the underlying causes of spatial variability in biotic communities compared with total beta diversity alone.
  • Hochkirch, Axel; Samways, Michael J.; Gerlach, Justin; Bohm, Monika; Williams, Paul; Cardoso, Pedro; Cumberlidge, Neil; Stephenson, P. J.; Seddon, Mary B.; Clausnitzer, Viola; Borges, Paulo A.; Mueller, Gregory M.; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Raimondo, Domitilla C.; Danielczak, Anja; Dijkstra, Klaas-Douwe B. (2021)
    Measuring progress toward international biodiversity targets requires robust information on the conservation status of species, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species provides. However, data and capacity are lacking for most hyperdiverse groups, such as invertebrates, plants, and fungi, particularly in megadiverse or high-endemism regions. Conservation policies and biodiversity strategies aimed at halting biodiversity loss by 2020 need to be adapted to tackle these information shortfalls after 2020. We devised an 8-point strategy to close existing data gaps by reviving explorative field research on the distribution, abundance, and ecology of species; linking taxonomic research more closely with conservation; improving global biodiversity databases by making the submission of spatially explicit data mandatory for scientific publications; developing a global spatial database on threats to biodiversity to facilitate IUCN Red List assessments; automating preassessments by integrating distribution data and spatial threat data; building capacity in taxonomy, ecology, and biodiversity monitoring in countries with high species richness or endemism; creating species monitoring programs for lesser-known taxa; and developing sufficient funding mechanisms to reduce reliance on voluntary efforts. Implementing these strategies in the post-2020 biodiversity framework will help to overcome the lack of capacity and data regarding the conservation status of biodiversity. This will require a collaborative effort among scientists, policy makers, and conservation practitioners.
  • Heino, Jani; Culp, Joseph M.; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Goedkoop, Willem; Lento, Jennifer; Rühland, Kathleen; Smol, John P.; Britton, Robert (British Ecological Society, 2020)
    Journal of Applied Ecology Volume 57, Issue 7 (2020)
    1. Arctic regions support a wide variety of freshwater ecosystems. These naturally oligotrophic and cold-water streams, rivers, ponds and lakes are currently being impacted by a diverse range of anthropogenic pressures, such as accelerated climate change, permafrost thaw, land-use change, eutrophication, brownification and the replacement of northern biota with the range expansion of more southern species. 2. Multiple stressors are rapidly changing Arctic freshwater systems as aquatic habitats are becoming more suitable for species originating from more southerly regions and thereby threatening biota adapted to cold waters. The livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples of the north will be altered when ecosystem services associated with changes in biodiversity are affected. Unfortunately, monitoring of biodiversity change in Arctic freshwaters is currently inadequate, making it difficult, if not impossible, to predict changes in ecosystem services. 3. Synthesis and applications. We propose a three-step approach to better address and facilitate monitoring of the rapid ecological changes that Arctic freshwater ecosystems are currently experiencing as a result of climate change. First, we should increase our efforts in the monitoring of freshwaters across all Arctic countries by setting up a network of monitoring sites and devoting more effort to a broad-scale baseline survey using standardized methods. Second, we should enhance modelling efforts to include both ecological change and socio-economic development. These models should help pinpoint species, ecosystems and geographical areas that are likely to show abrupt changes in response to any changes. Third, we should increase interaction among scientists, policymakers and different stakeholder groups. In particular, Indigenous Peoples must be involved in the leadership, planning and execution of monitoring and assessment activities of Arctic freshwaters. The proposed approach, which is critical to detecting the effects of climate change in the circumpolar region, has broader applications for global coordination of Arctic freshwater biomonitoring. Through routine monitoring, standardization of methods, enhanced modelling of integrated scientific and socio-economic change, and increased collaboration within and among sectors, more effective monitoring and management of climate change impacts on freshwater biodiversity will be possible in the Arctic and globally.
  • Pe'er, Guy; Bonn, Aletta; Bruelheide, Helge; Dieker, Petra; Eisenhauer, Nico; Feindt, Peter H.; Hagedorn, Gregor; Hansjürgens, Bernd; Herzon, Irina; Lomba, Ângela; Marquard, Elisabeth; Moreira, Francisco; Nitsch, Heike; Oppermann, Rainer; Perino, Andrea; Röder, Norbert; Schleyer, Christian; Schindler, Stefan; Wolf, Christine; Zinngrebe, Yves; Lakner, Sebastian (2020)
    Abstract Making agriculture sustainable is a global challenge. In the European Union (EU), the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is failing with respect to biodiversity, climate, soil, land degradation as well as socio-economic challenges. The European Commission's proposal for a CAP post-2020 provides a scope for enhanced sustainability. However, it also allows Member States to choose low-ambition implementation pathways. It therefore remains essential to address citizens' demands for sustainable agriculture and rectify systemic weaknesses in the CAP, using the full breadth of available scientific evidence and knowledge. Concerned about current attempts to dilute the environmental ambition of the future CAP, and the lack of concrete proposals for improving the CAP in the draft of the European Green Deal, we call on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to adopt 10 urgent action points for delivering sustainable food production, biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation. Knowledge is available to help moving towards evidence-based, sustainable European agriculture that can benefit people, nature and their joint futures. The statements made in this article have the broad support of the scientific community, as expressed by above 3,600 signatories to the preprint version of this manuscript. The list can be found here (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3685632). A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Susi, Hanna; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2021)
    Human alteration of natural habitats may change the processes governing species interactions in wild communities. Wild populations are increasingly impacted by agricultural intensification, yet it is unknown whether this alters biodiversity mediation of disease dynamics. We investigated the association between plant diversity (species richness, diversity) and infection risk (virus richness, prevalence) in populations of Plantago lanceolata in natural landscapes as well as those occurring at the edges of cultivated fields. Altogether, 27 P. lanceolata populations were surveyed for population characteristics and sampled for PCR detection of five recently characterized viruses. We find that plant species richness and diversity correlated negatively with virus infection prevalence. Virus species richness declined with increasing plant diversity and richness in natural populations while in agricultural edge populations species richness was moderately higher, and not associated with plant richness. This difference was not explained by changes in host richness between these two habitats, suggesting potential pathogen spill-over and increased transmission of viruses across the agro-ecological interface. Host population connectivity significantly decreased virus infection prevalence. We conclude that human use of landscapes may change the ecological laws by which natural communities are formed with far reaching implications for ecosystem functioning and disease.
  • Västilä, Kaisa; Väisänen, Sari; Koskiaho, Jari; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Karttunen, Krister; Kuussaari, Mikko; Järvelä, Juha; Koikkalainen, Kauko (MDPI, 2021)
    Sustainability 13, 16
    Conventional dredging of ditches and streams to ensure agricultural drainage and flood mitigation can have severe environmental impacts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of an alternative, nature-based two-stage channel (TSC) design with floodplains excavated along the main channel. Through a literature survey, investigations at Finnish field sites and expert interviews, we assessed the performance, costs, and monetary environmental benefits of TSCs in comparison to conventional dredging, as well as the bottlenecks in their financing and governance. We found evidence supporting the expected longer-term functioning of drainage as well as larger plant and fish biodiversity in TSCs compared to conventional dredging. The TSC design likely improves water quality since the floodplains retain suspended sediment and phosphorus and remove nitrogen. In the investigated case, the additional value of phosphorus retention and conservation of protected species through the TSC design was 2.4 times higher than the total costs. We demonstrate how TSCs can be made eligible for the obligatory vegetated riparian buffer of the European Union agri-environmental subsidy scheme (CAP-AES) by optimising their spatial application with respect to other buffer measures, and recommend to publicly finance their additional costs compared to conventional dredging at priority sites. Further studies on biodiversity impacts and long-term performance of two-stage channels are required.
  • Delesantro, Allan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Urban spatial planning is a cooperative mechanism in ethics which seeks to regulate how land is used, modified and arranged in order to sustain quasi-stable coexistences of dense populations with varied needs and values. Perhaps no needs and values are more varied than those of the many nonhuman animals which live alongside humans in urban spaces. Communicative planning theory (CPT) has emerged over the last 30 years to improve planning’s ethical content by navigating fuller and more diverse multi-interest, multi-stakeholder discourses. The perceived or real absence of significant human-nonhuman animal communications presents a problem for incorporating animals into communicative planning’s anthroponormative frameworks. This thesis adopts a socioecologically hybridized perspective to explore why and how animals may be conceived of as stakeholders in communicative planning, what values and practices produce human-nonhuman animal relationships, and how these translate to outcomes in spatial planning. Using theories which question the viability of the human-animal binary, especially actor network theory (ANT) and Callon’s sociology of translation, I develop my own relational perspective of urban communicative and spatial planning practice that may include nonhuman animals as part of urban spatial planning’s ‘decision-making spaces’. I use this approach in analysis of a spatial planning problem involving three species of nonhuman animals, the Jokeri Light Rail of Helsinki, Finland. From the case study I draw conclusions about how nonhuman animals relate, communicate and negotiate within spatial planning systems in fundamentally distinct ways requiring the development of new communicative apparatus and stakeholder engagement tools. In conclusion, I discuss the ways in which the animal-as-stakeholder concept might be affirmatively used by professional planners to achieve better outcomes for multi-species communities. This means conceiving of urban development not as a battle of human progress against biodiversity conservation, but a multivariable negotiation to reach ‘good enough’ outcomes for a multitude of organisms. I conclude that contemporary spatial planning’s ethical aims of creating quasi-stable urban coexistences demands developing deliberative processes of decision-making with and in a multispecies community.
  • Strona, Giovanni; Fattorini, Simone; Fiasca, Barbara; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Di Cicco, Mattia; Lorenzetti, Walter; Boccacci, Francesco; Galassi, Diana M. P. (2019)
    We introduce a suite of software tools aimed at investigating multiple bio-ecological facets of aquatic Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs). The suite focuses on: (1) threats posed by pollutants to GDE invertebrates (Ecological Risk, ER); (2) threats posed by hydrological and hydromorphological alterations on the subsurface zone of lotic systems and groundwater-fed springs (Hydrological-Hydromorphological Risk, HHR); and (3) the conservation priority of GDE communities (Groundwater Biodiversity Concern index, GBC). The ER is assessed by comparing tolerance limits of invertebrate species to specific pollutants with the maximum observed concentration of the same pollutants at the target site(s). Comparison is based on an original, comprehensive dataset including the most updated information on tolerance to 116 pollutants for 474 freshwater invertebrate species. The HHR is assessed by accounting for the main direct and indirect effects on both the hyporheic zone of lotic systems and groundwater-fed springs, and by scoring each impact according to the potential effect on subsurface invertebrates. Finally, the GBC index is computed on the basis of the taxonomical composition of a target community, and allows the evaluation of its conservation priority in comparison to others.
  • Myllyviita, Tanja; Sironen, Susanna; Saikku, Laura; Holma, Anne; Leskinen, Pekka; Palme, Ulrika (2019)
    Journal of Cleaner Production 236: 117641
    Impacts of bioeconomy on climate have been much discussed, but less attention has been given to biodiversity deterioration. One approach to assess biodiversity impacts is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Finland is a forested country with intensive forest industries, but only coarse biodiversity LCA methods are available. The aim of this study was to further develop and apply approaches to assess the biodiversity impacts of wood use in Finland. With the species richness approach (all taxons included), biodiversity impacts were higher in Southern than in Northern Finland but impacts in Southern and Northern Finland were lower when mammals, birds and molluscs were included. With the ecosystem indicators approach, if the reference situation were forest in its natural state, biodiversity impacts were higher than in the case where the initial state of forest before final felling was used to derive biodiversity loss. In both cases, the biodiversity impacts were higher in Northern Finland. These results were not coherent as the model applying species richness data assesses biodiversity loss based on all species, whereas the ecosystem indicators approach considers vulnerable species. One limitation of the species richness approach was that there were no reliable datasets available. In the ecosystem indicators approach, it was noticed that the biodiversity of managed Finnish forests is substantially lower than in natural forests. Biodiversity LCA approaches are highly sensitive to reference states, applied model and data. It is essential to develop approaches capable of comparing biodiversity impacts of forest management practices, or when looking at multiple environmental impacts simultaneously with the LCA framework.
  • Väisänen, Rauno; Heliövaara, Kari (The Society of Forestry in Finland - The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1994)
    The presence/absence data of twenty-seven forest insect taxa (e.g. Retinia resinella, Formica spp., Pissodes spp., several scolytids) and recorded environmental variation were used to investigate the applicability of modelling insect occurrence based on satellite imagery. The sampling was based on 1800 sample plots (25 m by 25 m) placed along the sides of 30 equilateral triangles (side 1 km) in a fragmented forest area (approximately 100 km2) in Evo, S Finland. The triangles were overlaid on land use maps interpreted from satellite images (Landsat TM 30 m multispectral scanner imagery 1991) and digitized geological maps. Insect occurrence was explained using either environmental variables measured in the field or those interpreted from the land use and geological maps. The fit of logistic regression models varied between species, possibly because some species may be associated with the characteristics of single trees while other species with stand characteristics. The occurrence of certain insect species at least, especially those associated with Scots pine, could be relatively accurately assessed indirectly on the basis of satellite imagery and geological maps. Models based on both remotely sensed and geological data better predicted the distribution of forest insects except in the case of Xylechinus pilosus, Dryocoetes sp. and Trypodendron lineatum, where the differences were relatively small in favour of the models based on field measurements. The number of species was related to habitat compartment size and distance from the habitat edge calculated from the land use maps, but logistic regressions suggested that other environmental variables in general masked the effect of these variables in species occurrence at the present scale.
  • Hovi, Tiina (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Finnish agriculture has faced radical changes since the mid-20th century due to intensification of agricultural production. These changes have resulted into considerable wildlife habitat loss and degradation of biodiversity. Open ditches and their boundaries are one such habitat. They were widely replaces by subsurface drainage. This thesis aims to understand the role open ditches for agricultural biodiversity; what kinds of plants live the ditch habitat and can ditches enhance agrobiodiversity? To answer these questions we surveyed the vegetation of ditch slopes and ditch banks. Both vegetation composition and species richness were studied. The survey concerns only vegetation, but it is assumed that plant species diversity supports diversity of other groups of organisms. The data was collected in summers 2008 and 2009 in Lepsämä river catchment in Southern Finland in co-operation with MYTVAS (Significance of the Finnish agri-environment support scheme for biodiversity and landscape) -project. Ditch habitat characterization was done by studying the most common species and their indicative values in the data. Also NMS-ordination graph was created. Environmental variables were analyzed too. According to the literature review ditches can have significant role in maintaining agrobiodiversity, and their existence has probably reduced biodiversity loss. However, the vegetation analysis shows that the study area was species-poor and homogenous. Probable explanations are the habitat’s humidity and high levels of nutrients alongside the dominance of few strong weed species. In order to improve ditches as wildlife habitats their quality should be enhanced. For example fertilizer and herbicide drifts should be reduced and ditch banks could be widened. Also tending the ditch habitat by cutting or grazing are highly recommendable methods to enhance biodiversity.
  • Coppock, Rachel L.; Lindeque, Penelope K.; Cole, Matthew; Galloway, Tamara S.; Nakki, Pinja; Birgani, Hannah; Richards, Saskiya; Queirós, Ana M. (Elsevier, 2021)
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 415: 125583
    Microplastics are ubiquitous in the marine environment, however, the mechanisms governing their uptake by, and burial within, seabed habitats are poorly understood. In this study, microplastic burial and its impact on fauna-mediated sedimentary processes was quantified at three coastal sites, and the potential contribution of burrowing faunal communities to this process assessed via functional trait diversity analysis of field data. In addition, laboratory exposures were used to assess whether sediment-processing undertaken by the brittlestar Amphiura filiformis, a key species in the sampled area, could explain the burial of microplastic fibres. Field observations confirmed broad-scale burial of microplastics across the coastal seabed, consistent across sites and seasons, with microplastic sequestration linked to benthic-pelagic exchange pathways, driven by burrowing fauna. Brittlestars were observed to bury and line their burrow walls with microfibres during experiments, and their burial activity was also modified following exposure to nylon fibres, relative to controls. Collectively, these results indicate that biodiverse and functionally important seabed habitats act as microplastic sinks, with burrowing fauna contributing to this process via well-known benthic-pelagic pathways, the rates of which are modified by plastic exposure.
  • COST action TD1107 (2017)
    Key priorities in biochar research for future guidance of sustainable policy development have been identified by expert assessment within the COST Action TD1107. The current level of scientific understanding (LOSU) regarding the consequences of biochar application to soil were explored. Five broad thematic areas of biochar research were addressed: soil biodiversity and ecotoxicology, soil organic matter and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil physical properties, nutrient cycles and crop production, and soil remediation. The highest future research priorities regarding biochar's effects in soils were: functional redundancy within soil microbial communities, bioavailability of biochar's contaminants to soil biota, soil organic matter stability, GHG emissions, soil formation, soil hydrology, nutrient cycling due to microbial priming as well as altered rhizosphere ecology, and soil pH buffering capacity. Methodological and other constraints to achieve the required LOSU are discussed and options for efficient progress of biochar research and sustainable application to soil are presented.
  • 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.
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Rohr, Jason R.; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2020)
    The dilution effect predicts increasing biodiversity to reduce the risk of infection, but the generality of this effect remains unresolved. Because biodiversity loss generates predictable changes in host community competence, we hypothesised that biodiversity loss might drive the dilution effect. We tested this hypothesis by reanalysing four previously published meta-analyses that came to contradictory conclusions regarding generality of the dilution effect. In the context of biodiversity loss, our analyses revealed a unifying pattern: dilution effects were inconsistently observed for natural biodiversity gradients, but were commonly observed for biodiversity gradients generated by disturbances causing losses of biodiversity. Incorporating biodiversity loss into tests of generality of the dilution effect further indicated that scale-dependency may strengthen the dilution effect only when biodiversity gradients are driven by biodiversity loss. Together, these results help to resolve one of the most contentious issues in disease ecology: the generality of the dilution effect.
  • Kämäräinen, Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this study was to study the current biodiversity management practices in three large size companies and to study the biggest challenges the case companies are facing regarding biodiversity management. Biodiversity loss has been discussed for decades, but in only in recent years biodiversity has been more discussed also from more strategic point of view in the corporate world. The private sector has a considerable impact on biodiversity as well as a large part of the capacity to slow down and change the direction of biodiversity loss. Therefore, it is important that also the private sector considers and manages its impacts on biodiversity. The study was conducted as a qualitative case study including three case companies. The data was gathered through half-structured questionnaires through Microsoft Forms, a one-hour distance discussion with each of the companies, and from the latest annual reports in the fall of 2020. The results showed that biodiversity is considered to be an important topic among the case companies and that they are increasingly considering their impact on biodiversity as well. All case companies expect regulation on biodiversity to increase in the future and also the stakeholder demand around the topic has increased. However, only one of the companies has considered their impacts on biodiversity for years already; they have a management plan and they are following a specific reporting framework. Two of the companies have started to consider biodiversity separately or as a part of their other sustainability topics but they do not yet have biodiversity management plans in place nor do they follow any specific reporting framework. Regarding the biggest difficulties, the results show that especially finding suitable indicators and measuring the impacts on biodiversity are considered difficult. The results also show that understanding the concept of biodiversity and how biodiversity is related to the business is difficult. Companies also see that there is a lot of information regarding biodiversity available, but knowledge on how to use it for managing biodiversity is lacking. The results as well as the literature review indicate that impacts on biodiversity is increasingly managed but there are difficulties that need to be overcome. There are several biodiversity management frameworks that can be used for assessing the impacts and building suitable management plans. The better understanding companies have on their impacts biodiversity and vice versa, the better. It must be noted that the results indicate the views of large size (over 40 million € net revenue) companies in sectors that have rather direct impact on biodiversity. Therefore, the results may differ when studying companies of different sizes and from other sectors.
  • Rajakallio, Maria; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell, 2021)
    Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 7, 1523-1532
    1. Growing bioeconomy is increasing the pressure to clear-cut drained peatland forests. Yet, the cumulative effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on the biodiversity of recipient freshwater ecosystems are largely unknown. 2. We studied the isolated and combined effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on stream macroinvertebrate communities. We further explored whether the impact of these forestry-driven catchment alterations to benthic invertebrates is related to stream size. We quantified the impact on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing communities in forestry-impacted streams to expected communities modelled with a multi-taxon niche model. 3. The impact of clear-cutting of drained peatland forests exceeded the sum of the independent effects of drainage and clear-cutting, indicating a synergistic interaction between the two disturbances in small streams. Peatland drainage reduced benthic biodiversity in both small and large streams, whereas clear-cutting did the same only in small streams. Small headwater streams were more sensitive to forestry impacts than the larger downstream sites. 4. We found 11 taxa (out of 25 modelled) to respond to forestry disturbances. These taxa were mainly different from those previously reported as sensitive to forestry-driven alterations, indicating the context dependence of taxonomic responses to forestry. In contrast, most of the functional traits previously identified as responsive to agricultural sedimentation also responded to forestry pressures. In particular, taxa that live temporarily in hyporheic habitats, move by crawling, disperse actively in water, live longer than 1 year, use eggs as resistance form and obtain their food by scraping became less abundant than expected, particularly in streams impacted by both drainage and clear-cutting. 5. Synthesis and applications. Drained peatland forests in boreal areas are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested. Clear-cutting of these forests incurs multiple environmental hazards but previous studies have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Our results show that the combined impacts of peatland drainage and clear-cutting may extend across ecosystem boundaries and cause significant biodiversity loss in recipient freshwater ecosystems. This information supports a paradigm shift in boreal forest management, whereby continuous-cover forestry based on partial harvest may provide the most sustainable approach to peatland forestry.
  • Kahanpaa, Jere; Winqvist, Kaj; Zeegers, Theo (2014)
    A checklist of the ‘lower Brachycera’ of Finland is presented. This part of the complete checklist of Finnish Diptera covers the families Acroceridae, Asilidae, Athericidae, Bombyliidae, Mythicomyiidae, Rhagionidae, Scenopinidae, Stratiomyidae, Tabanidae, Therevidae, Xylomyidae and Xylophagidae.