Browsing by Subject "natural diversity"

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  • 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.
  • Vihervaara, Petteri; Kullberg, Peter; Hurskainen, Pekka (2019)
    Futura 3/2019
    Our planet is undergoing massive global change. We are increasingly aware of the biodiversity crisis, which raises concerns about the future of nature and humankind. Targets and goals set at several multilateral environmental agreements to stop the crisis have been agreed upon, but their effective follow-up and implementation require relevant and timely biodiversity data. For this purpose, a set of policy-relevant Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), describing the biological state and capturing the major dimensions of biodiversity change, have been proposed. Generating EBVs requires integration of in situ and Earth observation data. The former is collected in the field by experts, citizens, or automatic sensor networks, assisted by new technologies such as eDNA and machine learning, while the latter is measured from space or air, enabled by analysis-ready multi-sensor data and cloud computing services. As a case example for better biodiversity monitoring, the Finnish Ecosystem Observatory (FEO) is proposed. FEO will combine and standardize environmental information from different data sources, making the data, metadata and models openly available and easily accessible to users and policy makers.
  • Lindholm, Tapio; Jakovlev, Jevgeni; Kravchenko, Alexey (Finnish Environment Institute, 2015)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 40/2014
    Zaonezhye Peninsula (Zaonezhsky Peninsula; Заонежский полуостров in Russian transcription) is situated on the northwestern coast of Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. The territory of Zaonezhye is unique in that it contains nearly every type of terrain and unconsolidated sediment known in the vast expanses of northwest Russia. It is also eastern part of Fennoscandian shield. It is characterized by a high diversity of basic limestone and carbonate rocks that determine the fertility of local soils as well as the unique diversity of habitats, flora and fauna. Numerous rare calciphile plant and lichen species are found here, as well as rich, eutrophic wetlands. Long-term farming and animal husbandry have led to a large number of grassland communities in the area. As a result, a mosaic structure of diverse habitats has evolved here. Europe’s second largest lake, Lake Onega, with its clear and deep waters also affect the local climate, making it milder. This report provides for the first time detailed species lists of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, wood-growing fungi and insects covering the entire Zaonezhye Peninsula, Kizhi archipelago and other adjacent islands. The most important sites for protection were observed, and six new nature monuments in the southern and southerneast parts of Zaonezhye Peninsula are recommended to be established. This publication contents following articles characterizing nature of Zaonezhye area: 1. Geology and physical geography: 1.1.Geological description, 1.2. Geomorphology and Quaternary deposits, 1.3. Hydrological characteristics, 1.4. Soil cover, 1.5. Palaeogeography, 1.6. Existing and planned protected areas; 2. Landscapes and ecosystems: 2.1. Modern landscapes of Zaonezhye, 2.2. Landscape structure, 2.3. Structure of the forest covered land and forest stands, 2.4. Forest structures, 2.5. Mires, 2.6. Meadows; 3. Flora and fauna: 3.1. Vascular plants, 3.2. Bryophyte flora, 3.3 Species list of lichens and allied fungi, 3.4. Red listed and indicator lichens, 3.5. Aphyllophoroid fungi and 3.6. Insect fauna. 3.7. Localities in Zaonezhye area used in species lists of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, fungi and insects, and their toponyms.
  • Virkkala, Raimo; Leikola, Niko; Kujala, Heini; Kivinen, Sonja; Hurskainen, Pekka; Kuusela, Saija; Valkama, Jari; Heikkinen, Risto K. (Wiley, 2022)
    Ecological Applications
    The use of indicator species in forest conservation and management planning can facilitate enhanced preservation of biodiversity from the negative effects of forestry and other uses of land. However, this requires detailed and spatially comprehensive knowledge of the habitat preferences and distributions of selected focal indicator species. Unfortunately, due to limited resources for field surveys, only a small proportion of the occurrences of focal species is usually known. This shortcoming can be circumvented by using modeling techniques to predict the spatial distribution of suitable sites for the target species. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) and other remote sensing (RS) techniques have the potential to provide useful environmental data covering systematically large areas for these purposes. Here, we focused on six bird of prey and woodpecker species known to be good indicators of boreal forest biodiversity values. We used known nest sites of the six indicator species based on nestling ringing records. Thus, the most suitable nesting sites of these species provide important information for biodiversity-friendly forest management and conservation planning. We developed fine-grained, that is, 96 × 96 m grid cell resolution, predictive maps across the whole of Finland of the suitable nesting habitats based on ALS and other RS data and spatial information on the distribution of important forest stands for the six studied biodiversity indicator bird species based on nesting-habitat suitability modeling, that is, the MaxEnt model. Habitat preferences of the study species, as determined by MaxEnt, were in line with the previous knowledge of species-habitat relations. The proportion of suitable habitats of these species in protected areas (PAs) was considerable, but our analysis also revealed many potentially high-quality forest stands outside PAs. However, many of these sites are increasingly threatened by logging because of increased pressures for using forests for bioeconomy and forest industry based on National Forest Strategy. Predicting habitat suitability based on information on the nest sites of indicator species provides a new tool for systematic conservation planning over large areas in boreal forests in Europe, and a corresponding approach would also be feasible and recommendable elsewhere where similar data are available.
  • Li, Zhengfei; Wang, Jun; Liu, Zhenyuan; Meng, Xingliang; Heino, Jani; Jiang, Xuankong; Xiong, Xiong; Jiang, Xiaoming; Xie, Zhicai (2019)
    Science of the Total Environment 655:1288-1300
    Examining the relative contribution of local environmental stressors and regional factors in structuring biological communities is essential for biodiversity conservation and environmental assessment, yet their relative roles for different community characterizations remain elusive. Here, we examined the responses of taxonomic and functional structures of stream macroinvertebrate communities to local and regional factors across a human-induced environmental gradient in the Han River Basin, one subtropical biodiversity hotspot in China. Our objectives were: 1) to examine the responses of traditional taxonomic measures and functional traits to anthropogenic disturbances; 2) to compare the relative importance of environmental versus spatial variables and catchment-scale versus reach-scale variables for the two community characterizations. We found that both species and trait compositions performed well in differentiating anthropogenic disturbances, indicating that both taxonomic and functional structures of macroinvertebrate communities were strongly altered by human activities. Particularly, some traits related to life history (e.g., voltinism), resilience and resistance (e.g., adult flying ability) are well suited for predicting changes of communities towards anthropogenic disturbances owing to their mechanistic relationship with environmental gradients. We found that environmental variables played more important roles than spatial effects in structuring both taxonomic and functional facets of macroinvertebrate communities. Environmental filtering was more important in determining functional than taxonomic structure, and the opposite was true for spatial effects. In terms of environmental variables, catchment land-uses played the primary role in determining taxonomic composition, whereas reach-scale variables related to local habitat heterogeneity were more influential for functional structure. Our study highlights the importance of employing metacommunity perspectives and different community characterizations in both theoretical and applied research. For stream bioassessment and management, we argue that the combination of taxonomic and functional characterizations of community should be implemented, as different facets of biological communities responded to different types of anthropogenic disturbances.
  • Li, Zhengfei; Wang, Jun; Meng, Xingliang; Heino, Jani; Sun, Meiqin; Jiang, Xiaoming; Xie, Zhicai (2019)
    Freshwater Science 38 (1): 170-182
    Disentangling the effects of dispersal mode on the environmental and spatial processes structuring biological assemblages is essential to understanding the mechanisms of species coexistence and maintenance. Here, we use field investigations to link dispersal mode with environmental and spatial processes that control stream macroinvertebrate assemblage structure across the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon of Tibet (Tibetan Plateau). We sampled macroinvertebrates in streams that occur in 4 distinct regions. Each of these regions has a steep elevational gradient but different altitude ranges, climate types, and water replenishment sources. We classified macroinvertebrate taxa into passive and active dispersal mode groups to test whether macroinvertebrates with different dispersal modes responded differently to environmental and spatial processes. Our results showed that the assemblage structure of active dispersal groups was more strongly determined by environmental variables (habitat filtering/species sorting) than spatial factors both within and across regions. In contrast, the structure of passive dispersers was more strongly associated with spatial factors than environmental filtering in the entire study area and within lower canyon regions. However, spatial effects were not important for either type of dispersal group in the upper canyon regions, especially in the region with glacier-fed streams, indicating the predominance of species sorting processes in these harsh environments. Furthermore, the spatial structuring of assemblages became stronger as habitat filtering declined, which indicates a reduction in species sorting processes in less harsh environments. Our findings demonstrate diverse responses of macroinvertebrate assemblages to environmental and spatial processes across this poorly-known highland river system, and imply that dispersal mode influences the underlying mechanisms of community variation.
  • Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Karjalainen, Juha; Hämäläinen, Heikki; Nyholm, Kristiina; Rahkola-Sorsa, Minna; Cai, Yongjiu; Heino, Jani (Springer Link, 2020)
    Aquatic Ecology 54 3 (2020)
    Lake littoral environments are heterogeneous, and different organisms typically show specific responses to this environmental variation. We examined local environmental and spatial factors affecting lake littoral biodiversity and the structuring of assemblages of phytoplankton, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates within and among three basins of a large lake system. We explored congruence of species composition and species richness among the studied organism groups to evaluate their general indicator potential to represent spatial variation in other groups. We expected that effects of water chemistry on plankton assemblages were stronger than effects of habitat characteristics. In contrast, we anticipated stronger effects of habitat on macroinvertebrates due to their mainly benthic mode of life. We also expected that within-basin spatial effects would be strongest on macroinvertebrates and weakest on phytoplankton. We predicted weak congruence in assemblage composition and species richness among the organism groups. Phytoplankton assemblages were mainly structured by the shared effects of water chemistry and large-scale spatial factors. In contrast to our expectations, habitat effects were stronger than water chemistry effects on zooplankton assemblages. However, as expected, macroinvertebrate species composition and richness were mainly affected by habitat conditions. Among-group congruence was weak for assemblage composition and insignificant for richness. Albeit weak, congruence was strongest between phytoplankton and zooplankton assemblages, as we expected. In summary, our analyses do not support the idea of using a single organism group as a wholesale biodiversity indicator.
  • Vilmi, A.; Zhao, W.; Picazo, F.; Li, M.; Heino, J.; Soininen, J.; Wang, J. (2019)
    Science of the Total Environment 702: 134974
    Understanding the role of climatic variation on biodiversity is of chief importance due to the ongoing biodiversity loss and climate change. Freshwaters, one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, offer a valuable context to study biodiversity patterns of distinct organism groups in relation to climatic variation. In the Tibetan Plateau biodiversity hotspot - Hengduan Mountain region, we studied the effects of climate and local physico-chemical factors on stream microorganisms (i.e. bacteria) and macroorganisms (i.e. macroinvertebrates) in two parallel catchments with contrasting precipitation and temperature, that is, the Nujiang and Lancang Rivers. Diversities and community structures were better explained by climatic and local environmental variables in the drier and colder catchment and at higher elevations, than in the warmer and wetter conditions and at lower elevations. This suggests that communities may be more strongly assembled by deterministic processes in the former, comparatively harsher conditions, compared to the latter, more benign conditions. Macroinvertebrates were more strongly affected by climatic and local environmental factors compared to bacteria, but the diversities and community structures of the two groups showed spatially similar responses to overall abiotic variation, being especially evident with their community structures' responses to climate. Furthermore, bacterial and macroinvertebrate diversities were positively correlated in the drier and colder catchment, implying that these biologically and ecologically distinct organism groups are likely to be driven by similar processes in areas with such climatic conditions. We conclude that changes in climatic and local environmental conditions may affect the diversity of macroorganisms more strongly than that of microorganisms, at least in subtropical mountainous stream ecosystems studied here, but simultaneous responses of both groups to environmental changes can also be expected.
  • da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Bogoni, Juliano André; Heino, Jani (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021)
    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9: 670212
    According to metacommunity theory (Leibold et al., 2004), the structure of local communities results from the interplay between local factors (e.g., environmental filtering, species interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal rates, landscape configuration). The relative importance of these factors is highly dependent on the organisms’ biological traits, landscape connectivity, and the spatial and temporal scales considered (Heino et al., 2015; Tonkin et al., 2018; Viana and Chase, 2019; Almeida-Gomes et al., 2020; Cañedo-Argüelles et al., 2020; Lansac-Tôha et al., 2021). However, the differences in metacommunity assembly mechanisms found among studies are far from being fully understood. The evaluation of temporal dynamics of metacommunities has only emerged recently (Cañedo-Argüelles et al., 2020; Jabot et al., 2020; Li et al., 2020; Lindholm et al., 2021) and the application of the metacommunity theory in other fields, such as biomonitoring, conservation biology or ecosystem restoration, is yet to be fully explored (Bengtsson, 2010; Heino, 2013; Leibold and Chase, 2018; Chase et al., 2020; Cid et al., 2020; Heino et al., 2021). In this Research Topic, our aim was to invite researchers working in different biogeographic regions and ecological systems (Figure 1) to publish a number of innovative papers on metacommunity spatio-temporal dynamics. We expect to obtain a better understanding of how the factors and processes that structure metacommunities vary in space and time, as well as the implications of such dynamics for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management.
  • Hill, Matthew J.; Heino, Jani; White, James C.; Ryves, David B.; Wood, Paul J. (2019)
    Biological Conservation 237: 348-357
    Understanding the spatial patterns and environmental drivers of freshwater diversity and community structure is a key challenge in biogeography and conservation biology. However, previous studies have focussed primarily on taxonomic diversity and have largely ignored the phylogenetic and functional facets resulting in an incomplete understanding of the community assembly. Here, we examine the influence of local environmental, hydrological proximity effects, land-use type and spatial structuring on taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic (using taxonomic relatedness as a proxy) alpha and beta diversity (including the turnover and nestedness-resultant components) of pond macroinvertebrate communities. Ninety-five ponds across urban and non-urban land-uses in Leicestershire, UK were examined. Functional and phylogenetic alpha diversity were negatively correlated with species richness. At the alpha scale, functional diversity and taxonomic richness were primarily determined by local environmental factors while phylogenetic alpha diversity was driven by spatial factors. Compositional variation (beta diversity) of the different facets and components of functional and phylogenetic diversity were largely determined by local environmental variables. Pond surface area, dry phase length and macrophyte cover were consistently important predictors of the different facets and components of alpha and beta diversity. Our results suggest that pond management activities aimed at improving biodiversity should focus on improving and/or restoring local environmental conditions. Quantifying alpha and beta diversity of the different biodiversity facets facilitates a more accurate assessment of patterns in diversity and community structure. Integrating taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity into conservation strategies will increase their efficiency and effectiveness, and maximise biodiversity protection in human-modified landscapes.
  • Wang, Huan; García Molinos, Jorge; Heino, Jani; Zhang, Huan; Zhang, Peiyu; Xu, Jun (Pergamon, 2021)
    Environment International 153 (2021), 106494
    Eutrophication is a major problem currently impacting many surface water ecosystems. Impacts of increased nutrient concentrations on biodiversity may differ between different scales, different organism groups, and different trophic states. Surveys at different spatial scales have suggested that biodiversity of different taxa may exhibit significant cross-taxon congruence. In our study, we examined the diversity of zooplankton and zoobenthos across 261 lakes in the Lake Taihu watershed, an area that is undergoing a severe eutrophication process. We tested the cross-taxon congruence in species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity between zooplankton and zoobenthos along a nutrient gradient across the lakes. Our findings were consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, considering nutrient input as the disturbance. Also, we found significant cross-taxon congruence between zooplankton and zoobenthos diversities. Our results confirmed that excess nutrient levels resulted in diversity loss and community simplification. Zoobenthos were more sensitive to nutrient increases compared with zooplankton, which decreased cross-taxon congruence because these organism groups did not respond similarly to the anthropogenic disturbance.
  • Juvonen, Sanna-Kaisa; Kuhmonen, Anna (Suomen ympäristökeskus, 2013)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 37/2013
    In this report, results of a regional evaluation on protected areas in the Barents Region are presented. The evaluation was made using the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity as a framework. The Convention on Biological Diversity aims to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020. The work was done as a part of the Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) project by national and regional authorities, scientific institutes and nature conservation nongovernmental organisations from Norway, Sweden, Finland and northwest Russia. The aim of the project is to promote the establishment of a representative protected area network in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region to conserve biodiversity of boreal and arctic nature, particularly forests and wetlands. The PoWPA national reporting framework was modified and simplified to make it more suitable to be used as a tool for analysis of the protected area network in the Barents Region. It was used especially to see in which PoWPA goals and targets the Barents Region as a whole had made progress, and in which there was need for further work, and thus make recommendations for future actions in the Region. This enabled also the individual regions to assess in which goals and targets their region had made progress and in which there was need for further development. The reporting framework also provided a common language for interregional discussions and comparisons. A network of existing and planned protected areas is under development in the Barents Region. New protected areas have been established in recent years. However, strong efforts are still needed for strengthening the network of protected areas in order to reach the internationally agreed Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • Johanson, Jorunn (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Geodiversity, the natural abiotic variety of the Earth’s surface, is an essential part of natural diversity and plays an important role in providing the abiotic ecosystem services that all life depends on. Geodiversity is increasingly threatened by human activities and climate change, and consequently there is a growing importance of including geodiversity in decision-making. However, there is still a lack of studies assessing the spatial variation and key drivers of geodiversity, especially in high latitude and altitude areas, and this study, therefore, aims to contribute to an improved understanding. In this study, the geodiversity of a subarctic mountainous area in Northern Norway was mapped using remotely sensed data and applying a grid-based approach. The spatial variation of geodiversity was assessed using five different measures, and the relationships between geodiversity and several topographical parameters were analysed using correlation analysis (Spearman’s rank correlation, RS) as well as both univariate and multivariate linear regression. The vertical variation of geodiversity was also examined to analyse the variation of geodiversity along altitudinal gradients. A total of 54 geodiversity elements were observed in the study area and the number of elements per grid cell varied from 7 to 36. Four of the geodiversity measures correlated strongly, resulting in relatively similar spatial patterns of diversity. Higher values tended to follow the valley systems and cluster in the vicinity of rivers and larger streams. Topographically diverse grid cells, containing both steeper slopes and smoother areas, also contained a higher diversity. Low diversity occurred mainly on the highest elevations as well as on the steepest slopes. The majority of the univariate relationships between the measures of geodiversity and the topographical parameters were statistically significant, although the correlations generally were relatively weak. The regression models further confirmed the relationship between topography and geodiversity, and revealed various statistically significant relationships, as well as the presence of both linear and unimodal relationships. Higher geodiversity generally occurred in topographically heterogeneous landscapes, as well as in the vicinity of rivers and larger streams, where both erosion and accumulation processes are prominent, leading to a great variety of geomorphological elements and soil deposits. The summits and slopes of the mountain massifs, on the other hand, displayed a lower geodiversity. In these areas, erosion is significant, but accumulation processes are lacking. Furthermore, the hydrological diversity is generally low there. The vertical patterns of geodiversity were related to the spatial patterns since total geodiversity decreased steadily as mean elevation rose above 600 m a.s.l. The influence of topography on geodiversity patterns could also be seen in the statistically significant relationships between several topographical parameters and the geodiversity measures. There was, however, some variation in the strength of the correlations, and the weaker relationships can partly be explained by the contradictory effect of slope angle and elevation on geodiversity. These patterns were further confirmed by the fact that the regression models revealed not only linear, but also unimodal relationships between the topographical parameters and geodiversity. Although topography seems to have an important effect on all geodiversity measures, there is some variation in which topographic parameters are the most important for the different measures. To conclude, this study of a northern high latitude mountainous area shows that high geodiversity occurs in the vicinity of rivers and larger streams, as well as in landscapes with a varied relief. Topography has a statistically significant influence on geodiversity, although the magnitude and direction of the effect varies between the elements of geodiversity. To facilitate the incorporation of geodiversity in education, land use planning, resource management and nature conservation, more research is still required about the patterns and drivers of geodiversity.
  • Pykälä, Juha (Elsevier, 2019)
    Global Ecology and Conservation 18 (2019), e00610
    Why populations of threatened species disappear is among the key questions in conservation biology. However, very few local and regional studies have attempted to quantify the importance of the various causes. In this investigation, the status of the populations of threatened vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens found between the years 1860–1979 in a national biodiversity hot spot in SW Finland was studied during the years 1990–2008. Of the populations, 82% had disappeared and 18% were re-discovered. The disappearance rate of populations differed between habitats: exceeding 80% in most habitat types whilst being lowest on rock outcrops (58%). Complete destruction of all locally suitable habitats was the main reason for the disappearance of the populations (73%) concerned. Habitat deterioration (including partial habitat loss) was identified as the reason for the disappearance for 22% of the populations. Only for 5% of the populations could it not be revealed whether habitat quality had changed or not, but deterioration of habitat quality or habitat loss is possible even in these cases. For none of the disappeared populations was no change in habitat quality verified. In most cases, habitat loss and deterioration were caused by agriculture or forestry. These results support the conclusion that vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen populations in the boreal landscape have disappeared directly because their habitats have disappeared, declined in size or deteriorated due to forestry, agriculture, construction, mining and pollution. More subtle changes in habitat quality, fragmentation, problems related to small population size per se and other reasons may have contributed to only a few disappearances of local populations. The disappearance rate was similar between the study groups, but the relative importance of reasons for disappearance was different. The results emphasize the importance of habitat protection for threatened vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens.
  • Orsi, Francesco; Ciolli, Marvo; Primmer, Eeva; Varumo, Liisa; Geneletti, Davide (Butterworth Scientific, 2020)
    Land Use Policy 99 : 104840
    Forests cover about 40 % of the European Union (EU), providing a wide spectrum of invaluable ecosystem services to more than half a billion people. In order to protect and harness this crucial asset, EU policies are advancing multifunctional management. This study lays a basis for such an effort by mapping the supply of key forest ecosystem services (FES) across the entire EU: wood, water supply, erosion control, pollination, habitat protection, soil formation, climate regulation and recreation. To further support the operationalization of multifunctionality and targeting of policies, our analysis delineates hotspots, assesses synergies and tradeoffs, and identifies spatial bundles. We generated maps at 1-km resolution starting from existing datasets through simple modelling (Tier 1). Out of these maps, we denoted the highest supplying pixels (i.e. top 20 %) as hotspots, and performed correlation analysis to detect synergies and tradeoffs. Finally, we used cluster analysis to identify FES bundles. Our analysis shows that hotspots of single FES are spread across the entire EU and that forests of mountain regions and Central Europe (particularly France, Germany, Slovakia) supply significant amounts of multiple FES. The cluster analysis resulted in four bundles: “balanced” in the northeast, “wood & water” in the center, “soil carbon” in the north and “rural-recreational” in the south. While a purely quantitative analysis of the produced maps may be misleading because of the strong links between FES supply and climatic and socio-economic conditions, overlaying hotspots and bundles with administrative layers can be a first step to inform about the role of different countries and regions in securing the sustainable supply of European FES.
  • Cai, Yongjiu; Zhang, You; Hu, Zhixin; Deng, Jianming; Qin, Boqiang; Yin, Hongbin; Wang, Xiaolong; Gong, Zhijun; Heino, Jani (2019)
    Ecological Indicators 103: 713-721
    Metacommunity theory emphasizes that local communities are jointly affected by environmental filtering and spatial processes. However, the roles of spatial processes are often given insufficient attention in bioassessment practices, which may bias the assessments of ecological status based on biotic metrics. Here, we quantified the relative importance and the seasonal stability of spatial processes, natural conditions and human-induced factors in structuring variation in different bioassessment metrics based on macroinvertebrate communities. Our study systems were two extensively sampled large and shallow lakes with strong nutrient gradients related to human disturbance. The roles of different drivers were examined for three kinds of indicators: general diversity, trait-based and taxonomic distinctness metrics, and their performance in characterizing human disturbance was evaluated. Overall, human-induced and spatial factors were all important in explaining variation in the three types of bioassessment metrics. Contrary to our expectations, however, we found that the importance of spatial processes on bioassessment metrics can be comparable to the effects of local environmental conditions at the within-lake scale. Furthermore, the results showed substantial seasonal variability in the relative roles of different drivers, which might be linked to life-cycle seasonality of macroinvertebrates. As expected, trait-based metrics generally were best associated with human-induced variables in both lakes, whereas general diversity and taxonomic distinctness metrics performed poorly. The low effectiveness of taxonomic distinctness metrics might due to low species richness associated with high nutrient levels. To conclude, our results suggest that bioassessment cannot exclusively rely on the idea of environmental filtering even if we focus on fine spatial scales. We hence strongly urge that spatial processes, natural drivers and temporal variability should be better considered in combination in the development and application of bioassessment approaches. In addition, taxonomic distinctness measures should be used with caution, especially for the ecosystems and organism groups typically characterized by low species richness.
  • Zhang, You; Cheng, Long; Li, Kuanyi; Zhang, Lu; Cai, Yongjiu; Wang, Xiaolong; Heino, Jani (2019)
    Limnology and Oceanography 64 (3): 1047-1058
    Eutrophication alters the trophic dynamics in lakes and may result in biotic homogenization. How nutrient enrichment drives patterns of taxonomic and functional (i.e., trait‐based) homogenization of macroinvertebrate assemblages at within‐lake (local) and among‐lake (regional) scales is, however, not well understood. Taxonomic and functional compositions of macroinvertebrate assemblages in 41 lakes of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and Huaihe River were analyzed at within‐lake and among‐lake scales. Our results indicated that there was a significant difference in macroinvertebrate assemblages among lakes under different trophic status, and that total phosphorus was the major environmental factor that regulated both taxonomic and functional beta diversity of macroinvertebrate assemblages. That the abundances of pollution‐tolerant species (e.g., Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri and Microchironomus tabarui) increased with trophic state contributed the most to among‐lake dissimilarity. Functional beta diversity was significantly positively correlated with taxonomic beta diversity, while functional beta diversity was on average lower than taxonomic beta diversity. A combination of univariate and multivariate techniques revealed that nutrient enrichment homogenized taxonomic and functional diversity of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in shallow lakes at within‐lake and among‐lake scales, and that there was an overall trend toward taxonomic homogenization that exceeded the trend of functional homogenization. Thus, taxonomic and functional compositions should be considered simultaneously to improve understanding of the response of aquatic communities to anthropogenic disturbance, as the loss and gain of species may be influenced by species‐specific features, and functional composition may exhibit a relatively high correspondence with changes in environmental conditions.
  • Raunio, Anne; Jäppinen, Jukka-Pekka; Ahlroth, Petri; Kostamo, Kirsi; Mykrä, Heikki (Finnish Environment Institute, 2019)
    SYKE Policy Brief 28.3.2019
  • Kuhmonen, Anna; Mikkola, Jyri; Storrank, Bo; Lindholm, Tapio (Finnish Environment Institute, 2017)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 33/2017
    The project Barents Protected Area Network (BPAN) produced an overview of the characteristics and representativeness of the protected area network in the Barents Region in 2011-2014. A second phase was launched in 2015, and included studies on high conservation value forests (HCVFs) and coastal areas. The main aim of the project on forests was to produce new information on the distribution and protection status of HCVFs in a study area including the Barents Euro-Arctic regions of northwest Russia, Finland and Sweden. Furthermore, the aim of the project was to deliver updates on the protected area coverage in the study area, and to relate the progress of establishing protected areas to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and especially Target 11. In this study, a project-specific concept of high conservation value forests was applied in order to identify, describe and visualize the distribution of forests that are especially important for biodiversity. In Sweden and Finland, HCVFs were identified on the basis of existing data gained in field inventories. Remote sensing data, data from national forest inventories as well as studies of aerial photographs provided additional information. In northwest Russia, due to the vast areas covered by forests, mainly remote sensing was used. Data on land cover, and in particular regarding HCVFs and protected areas, was analyzed and displayed on maps using geographical information systems. A total of close to 325 000 km² were identified as verified or potential HCVFs. In Sweden, HCVFs covered about one fourth of the forested area of the study area, whereas the share was a bit higher in Finland (29%) and considerably higher in Russia (37%). The biggest share of HCVFs was detected in spruce-dominated coniferous forests; about 60% of these forests were classified as HCVFs. By the end of 2015, the protected areas covered almost 200 000 km² or 12,7% of the study area. The protected area coverage as compared to the situation two years earlier has improved, but in this rather short period of time the progress has naturally been rather modest. The biggest change has occurred in Russia. In most of the administrative regions of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region the objective of protecting 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters by 2020 - according to the Aichi Target 11 - has not yet been reached. A more thorough analysis of the protection level of the main types of forests of the Barents Region was carried out. The forests were divided into coniferous forests (pine-dominated coniferous forests on mineral land, pine-dominated coniferous forests on peatland, spruce-dominated forests), mixed forests and deciduous forests. Comprehensive maps and overviews of these forests were produced, presenting the distribution, total area, the proportional share of these types of forests as well as the level of protection. Statistics were produced for the whole study area, by country and region. In the whole Barents Region (excluding Norway) 11,7% of the forests were protected by the end of 2015. The project results and especially the data on high conservation value forests could be used in the development of the protected area systems of the region. The project has also highlighted the need to enhance the ecological connectivity between protected areas, and the data compiled by the project could provide a starting point for further development of connectivity analyses on different geographical scales. Furthermore, the project results could be used in order to facilitate an increased stakeholder dialogue regarding sustainable management of forest resources in the Barents Region.
  • García-Girón, Jorge; Heino, Jani; Iversen, Lars Lønsmann; Helm, Aveliina; Alahuhta, Janne (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 786 (2021), 147491
    Patterns of species rarity have long fascinated ecologists, yet most of what we know about the natural world stems from studies of common species. A large proportion of freshwater plant species has small range sizes and are therefore considered rare. However, little is known about the mechanisms and geographical distribution of rarity in the aquatic realm and to what extent diversity of rare species in freshwater plants follows their terrestrial counterparts. Here, we present the first in–depth analysis of geographical patterns, potential deterministic ecogeographical factors and projected scenarios of freshwater vascular plant rarity using 50 × 50 km grid cells across Europe (41°N–71°N) and North America (25°N–78°N). Our results suggest that diversity of rare species shows different patterns in relation to latitude on the two continents, and that hotspots of rarity concentrate in a relatively small proportion of the European and North American land surface, especially in mountainous as well as in climatically rare and stable areas. Interestingly, we found no differences among alternative rarity definitions and measures when delineating areas with notably high diversity of rare species. Our findings also indicate that few variables, namely a combination of current climate, Late Quaternary climate–change velocity and human footprint, are able to accurately predict the location of continental centers of rare species diversity. However, these relationships are not geographically homogeneous, and the underlying factors likely act synergistically. Perhaps more importantly, we provide empirical evidence that current centers of rare species diversity are characterized by higher anthropogenic impacts and might shrink disproportionately within this century as the climate changes. Our reported distributional patterns of species rarity align with the known trends in species richness of other freshwater organisms and may help conservation planners make informed decisions mitigating the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.