Browsing by Subject "luonnonsuojelubiologia"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-4 of 4
  • Kujala, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    All species are adapted to certain climatic conditions, outside of which they cannot survive. Changes in the climatic environment therefore force species to either adapt to the new conditions or move to areas where suitable conditions are still present in order to avoid extinction. Several studies have shown that species from various taxa are currently moving their ranges polewards and to higher elevations to keep up with shifting climate regimes. However, species differ widely in their dispersal abilities. In addition, natural landscapes are becoming increasingly human-dominated, further hindering dispersal by decreasing permeability. Anthropogenic climate change is therefore expected to become one of the major drivers of species extinctions by the end of the 21st century. Species range shifts are problematic in conservation planning, because dynamic biodiversity patterns hamper our ability to identify priority areas for protection. Because protected area networks are geographically fixed, climate change may also drive species out of reserves, foiling past conservation efforts. In this thesis the different risks and opportunities of conducting conservation planning under climate change are investigated. This research focuses on the uncertainties that arise from working with unknown future events, technical challenges of observing and predicting species range shifts, and using (or ignoring) information about future impacts in conservation planning. The major findings of this thesis are that climate change is already rapidly reshaping species distributions in Finland and that ignoring future dynamics can lead to misguided and potentially inefficient conservation decisions. The results presented here show that modelling future impacts using so-called niche modelling techniques, despite their inherent uncertainties, can provide useful information about how species distributions and conservation statuses will be affected by climate change. For example previously created models for Finnish breeding birds predicted well recently observed changes in species distribution sizes. More importantly, the observed changes seem to match best with predictions that follow the most extreme climate change scenario. A key factor for successfully measuring and predicting climate change impacts are good monitoring data, the role of which should be more widely acknowledged by decision-makers. Uncertainty in climate change research is pervasive and cannot ever be entirely eliminated. This work offers tools to assist in both spatial prioritization and decision making when scarce conservation resources need to be allocated under uncertain future conditions. The findings of this thesis strongly encourage using proactive approaches that account for future impacts. The results also suggests that while striving to reduce epistemic uncertainty is important in climate change and conservation research, other sources of uncertainty such as socio-political factors or volitional human behaviour might constitute far larger determinants of successful conservation actions, and therefore merit stronger focus in research.
  • Lundberg, Piia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    My thesis combines conservation biology and conservation psychology to explore factors associated with environmental philanthropic behavior, and more specifically donating to conservation flagships aiming to improve their use in conservation marketing campaigns. Flagship species, usually charismatic and aesthetically appealing mammals and birds are used by environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) in two ways: 1) when appealing to the potential donors to attract funds for conservation projects and 2) when raising conservation awareness of the public. In this thesis, I concentrate on flagship species’ usage from the conservation fundraising viewpoint. Because concentration on aesthetically pleasing species has also attracted criticism, there is a need to find additional ways to promote conservation projects. My aim is therefore to explore possibilities to use other donation targets in fundraising campaigns together with single species, as well as to find ways to help species and other targets, whose appearance is less attractive. This thesis builds upon a summary and four chapters. In Chapter I, I studied which kind of motivations and donor characteristics are associated with donating to ecosystems and species representing two taxonomic groups, mammals and birds. In the second chapter, I examined which flagship attributes are associated with the choices between flagships species and other flagship types including flagship fleets (a set of flagship species), ecosystems and biodiversity. The main aim of these two chapters was to study which kind of flagship types would be useful in fundraising campaigns, as well as to identify factors that make a conservation target appealing from the potential donors’ viewpoint. My goal was also to find out whether the potential donors can be divided into donor segments based on their preferences. Chapter III concentrates on real-life donation behavior. I measured both actual behavior by conducting a simple choice experiment and self-reported environmental philanthropic behavior by asking survey respondents questions about their past real-life donation behavior. The main aim was to study whether a variety of psychologic and sociodemographic variables are associated with donations of money and time, ENGO- membership and the amount donated. Chapter IV reviews literature on surrogacy analysis and willingness to pay studies of conservation flagships. The findings of my thesis emphasize the importance of segmenting environmental philanthropists based on their preferences. Common to all empirical studies in my thesis was that the potential donors favored both threatened targets as well as holistic flagship types that included biodiversity and ecosystems. According to these results, the range of donation targets in conservation fundraising campaigns could be wider than at present, although charismatic flagships also have their place as fundraising tools.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In a world of competing interests and increasing land use pressures, the allocation of limited resources for biodiversity conservation need to be prioritized. Spatial conservation prioritization deals with the cost-efficient and well-balanced identification of priority areas for biodiversity, as well as with the allocation and scheduling of alternative conservation actions. Finland is the most forested country in Europe, but more than 90 percents of Finland s forests are under commercial management. A history of widespread and relatively intensive forest management has led to many specialist species and habitats becoming threatened. At the same time, the protected area network is unequally distributed over the country, with largest areas in the north where species diversity is lowest. Consequently, the current main priority for conservation action for forest habitats is expanding the protected area network in the southern parts of the country in an ecologically justified way. In this thesis, I have three specific objectives. First, I examine the suitability of commonly available forest inventory data for informative high-resolution spatial conservation prioritization. Second, I clarify the effects of spatial scale and connectivity on spatial conservation prioritization at regional and national extents. Finally, I develop, demonstrate, and implement a practical workflow for regional- and national-scale forest conservation management planning in Finland, using the Zonation framework and software for spatial prioritization. I show how habitat quality indices based on forest inventory data and expert knowledge can be used as a basis of conservation prioritization. Comparison against validation datasets reveals that the analyses do indeed produce informative priorities. Case studies involving the expansion of the national protected area network both on public and private land demonstrate how the results can be applied in the context of a national forest conservation program, METSO. The spatial resolution of input data should closely match those of the planning objectives and the ecological processes involved. Furthermore, the level of detail in the forest inventory data defines how well the prioritization is able to identify small occurrences of important forest types and key habitats. The quality and the quantity of suitable habitat between protected areas are important for many forest species. Accounting for connectivity in the prioritization analyses produces spatially more aggregated priority patterns. However, emphasizing connectivity will lower the relative value of locally high quality, but poorly connected sites. Therefore, the balance between connectivity and local habitat quality merits careful consideration in spatial prioritization. The thesis highlights important factors. First, data availability often restricts the types of prioritization analyses that can be undertaken. Therefore, long-term development of high-quality open access data is crucial for making best use of spatial prioritization approaches. Second, establishing a conceptual model for the prioritization process can help formulate the right questions, to select the most suitable tools, and to estimate the costs and benefits involved. Finally, a successful conservation prioritization requires participation of experts and stakeholders. Methods, analyses, workflows and visualization techniques summarized in this thesis can serve as starting points for other similar applications elsewhere and support meeting local, regional and global conservation goals.
  • Arponen, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    One major reason for the global decline of biodiversity is habitat loss and fragmentation. Conservation areas can be designed to reduce biodiversity loss, but as resources are limited, conservation efforts need to be prioritized in order to achieve best possible outcomes. The field of systematic conservation planning developed as a response to opportunistic approaches to conservation that often resulted in biased representation of biological diversity. The last two decades have seen the development of increasingly sophisticated methods that account for information about biodiversity conservation goals (benefits), economical considerations (costs) and socio-political constraints. In this thesis I focus on two general topics related to systematic conservation planning. First, I address two aspects of the question about how biodiversity features should be valued. (i) I investigate the extremely important but often neglected issue of differential prioritization of species for conservation. Species prioritization can be based on various criteria, and is always goal-dependent, but can also be implemented in a scientifically more rigorous way than what is the usual practice. (ii) I introduce a novel framework for conservation prioritization, which is based on continuous benefit functions that convert increasing levels of biodiversity feature representation to increasing conservation value using the principle that more is better. Traditional target-based systematic conservation planning is a special case of this approach, in which a step function is used for the benefit function. We have further expanded the benefit function framework for area prioritization to address issues such as protected area size and habitat vulnerability. In the second part of the thesis I address the application of community level modelling strategies to conservation prioritization. One of the most serious issues in systematic conservation planning currently is not the deficiency of methodology for selection and design, but simply the lack of data. Community level modelling offers a surrogate strategy that makes conservation planning more feasible in data poor regions. We have reviewed the available community-level approaches to conservation planning. These range from simplistic classification techniques to sophisticated modelling and selection strategies. We have also developed a general and novel community level approach to conservation prioritization that significantly improves on methods that were available before. This thesis introduces further degrees of realism into conservation planning methodology. The benefit function -based conservation prioritization framework largely circumvents the problematic phase of target setting, and allowing for trade-offs between species representation provides a more flexible and hopefully more attractive approach to conservation practitioners. The community-level approach seems highly promising and should prove valuable for conservation planning especially in data poor regions. Future work should focus on integrating prioritization methods to deal with multiple aspects in combination influencing the prioritization process, and further testing and refining the community level strategies using real, large datasets.