Journal Cover
Biodiversity and Conservation
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.243
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 192  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0960-3115 - ISSN (Online) 1572-9710
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2348 journals]
  • IPBES-6: the best plenary yet'
    • Authors: Peter Bridgewater; Dirk S. Schmeller
      Pages: 2777 - 2782
      Abstract: The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held its 6th plenary session in Medellin (Colombia) during March 2018. Several assessments were due for acceptance by the plenary. We here give news from the plenary and the platform, sketch out important key messages from the regional assessments as well as of the global thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration. We further give an outlook on the work ahead and potential for contributions from the scientific community to the important work of IPBES.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1569-z
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Mediterranean non-indigenous bryozoans: an update and knowledge gaps
    • Authors: Jasmine Ferrario; Antonietta Rosso; Agnese Marchini; Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi
      Pages: 2783 - 2794
      Abstract: This paper provides an inventory of non-indigenous bryozoan species (NIB) recorded in the Mediterranean Sea. Taking into account previous NIB lists and updated non-indigenous concept, a careful literature review was carried out, reporting data on 33 NIB from 14 Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey). A total of 296 valid records were listed, including 6 yet unpublished. Other 62 records were labelled as uncertain and listed separately, until further analyses on taxonomic identity, non-indigenous status and distribution patterns of the species involved will clarify their status. The countries with the higher numbers of NIB and single records are Lebanon (20 and 78, respectively) and Italy (12 and 112, respectively). The distribution of NIB in the Mediterranean Sea appears scattered and no data are available at all for eight countries. Studies and monitoring efforts on bryozoans in the Mediterranean Sea are not evenly distributed, probably as a consequence of the decrease in number of expert taxonomists and the poor allocation of funds on biodiversity studies. The coordination among Mediterranean countries on standardised sampling methods is needed in order to create a comprehensive baseline knowledge on NIB distribution in the Mediterranean Sea and prioritise taxa and countries that are still poorly investigated.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1566-2
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Predator, prey and humans in a mountainous area: loss of biological
           diversity leads to trouble
    • Authors: U. Khan; S. Lovari; S. Ali Shah; F. Ferretti
      Pages: 2795 - 2813
      Abstract: Large carnivore-human coexistence is a challenging issue in wildlife conservation worldwide. An adequate and diverse prey spectrum favours carnivore persistence. Prey depletion and habitat loss elicit conflict with humans and require sound conservation measures. We evaluated the conflict between common leopards and humans in a densely populated Himalayan forest area of Pakistan. In two decades, the local forests decreased at an average rate of 65.5 ha/year (6.6%), with a concomitant increase in areas covered by human settlements (81.5%) and agricultural lands (15.4%). Ranging movements of a GPS/GSM-radiotagged male leopard over 16 months encompassed an area inhabited by c. 124,000 people. Livestock dominated the leopard’s diet (absolute frequency of occurrence: 80%), while wild ungulates were rarely eaten (absolute occurrence: 22%). Domestic goats were the most frequent diet item (61%), followed by domestic dogs (12%) and Bos spp. (6%). Wild prey included canids, small carnivores, rhesus monkeys, small mammals and gallinaceous birds. Socioeconomic implications of human-leopard coexistence were investigated: 18.5% of the households interviewed (N = 1016) suffered livestock depredation by leopards, with an overall loss of 123 USD/km2/year, in an area of 328 km2. In the first c. 15 years of this century, about 2 attacks to humans/year were recorded, half of which were lethal, whereas c. 6 leopards/year were killed in retaliation. The common leopard is ‘critically endangered’ in Pakistan mainly because of habitat loss and concurrent prey depletion. To increase the long-term survival of leopards and mitigate human-carnivore conflicts, priority should be given to restoration of a diverse natural prey assembly and protection of forest habitats, together with improved livestock management practices and livestock compensation. The latter will require a sustainable financial mechanism.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1570-6
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Thresholds of riparian forest use by terrestrial mammals in a fragmented
           Amazonian deforestation frontier
    • Authors: Barbara Zimbres; Carlos A. Peres; Gabriel Penido; Ricardo B. Machado
      Pages: 2815 - 2836
      Abstract: Species persistence in fragmented landscapes is intimately related to the quality, structure, and context of remaining habitat remnants. Riparian vegetation is legally protected within private landholdings in Brazil, so we quantitatively assessed occupancy patterns of terrestrial mammals in these remnants, examining under which circumstances different species effectively use them. We selected 38 riparian forest patches and five comparable riparian sites within continuous forest, at which we installed four to five camera-traps per site (199 camera-trap stations). Terrestrial mammal assemblages were sampled for 60 days per station during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. We modelled species occupancy and detection probabilities within riparian forest remnants, and examined the effects of patch size, habitat quality, and landscape structure on occupancy probabilities. We then scaled-up modelled occupancies to all 1915 riparian patches throughout the study region to identify which remnants retain the greatest potential to work as habitat for terrestrial vertebrates. Of the ten species for which occupancy was modelled, six responded to forest quality (remnant degradation, cattle intrusion, palm aggregations, and understorey density) or structure (remnant width, isolation, length, and area of the patch from which it originates). Patch suitability was lower considering habitat quality than landscape structure, and virtually all riparian remnants were unsuitable to maintain a high occupancy probability for all species that responded to forest patch quality or structure. Beyond safeguarding legal compliance concerning riparian remnant amount, ensuring terrestrial vertebrate persistence in fragmented landscapes will require curbing the drivers of forest degradation within private landholdings.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1571-5
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Using threatened plant species to identify conservation gaps and
           opportunities on the island of Cyprus
    • Authors: C. S. Christodoulou; G. H. Griffiths; I. N. Vogiatzakis
      Pages: 2837 - 2858
      Abstract: The cornerstone of EU nature conservation, the Natura 2000 (N2K) network is far from complete in many EU countries, including Cyprus, particularly where new datasets have become available. Thus, an important question in conservation biology is how new data can be incorporated in an effort to redesign N2K where appropriate. We analyse the efficacy of the N2K network in Cyprus, a global biodiversity hotspot, for protecting threatened vascular plants. We used 252 species for which detailed distributional data were available and added new records for 168 species. Overlaying a 1 km2 grid map for Cyprus we identified distributional hotspots of threatened species (sensu IUCN) and assessed their representation level within the N2K network. Based on new recorded data we propose IUCN status changes for 15 species. There were 60 hotspots identified (cells with more than 5 threatened species) in the central-west, south, southeast and north parts of the island. GIS analysis demonstrated that 145 out of 252 species (57.5%) occur within the N2K network, ranging from 4 to 100% of their occurrences. Τhe conservation gaps identified are related to 107 threatened species (42.5% of Red Data Book plants) which are either completely outside the N2K network or in those areas where EU legislation is not applicable due to the complex political situation on the island. The most important conservation opportunities are found in the northern part of the island, where the acquis communautaire is suspended and the UK Sovereign Base Areas, which are excluded from the Accession Treaty of Cyprus. In the area under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus (CYGCA) there are only two important hotspots found outside the N2K network.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1572-4
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Revisiting the Darwinian shortfall in biodiversity conservation
    • Authors: Leandro C. S. Assis
      Pages: 2859 - 2875
      Abstract: Among the seven shortfalls of biodiversity knowledge, the one that makes direct reference to phylogenetic information is the Darwinian shortfall, which embraces three components: “(1) the lack of fully resolved phylogenies for most groups of organisms; (2) the limited knowledge of branch lengths and difficulties in absolute time calibrations; and (3) unknown evolutionary models linking those phylogenies to ecological traits and the life-history variation” (Diniz-Filho et al. in Trends Ecol Evol 28:689–694, 2013). In order to overcome them, Diniz-Filho et al. (Trends Ecol Evol 28:689–694, 2013) emphasized the need to know the problems relative to phylogeny reconstruction, but they did not provide a clear comprehension of these problems. In the present article, I aim to comment on these problems in the context of the five epistemic stages of phylogenetic analysis. These are: (1) taxon sampling; (2) evidence; (3) homology assessment; (4) optimization methods; and (5) hypotheses formulation. A brief review of these stages is necessary to comprehend how complex is the use of phylogenetic hypotheses in ecology and conservation. I also provide additional and balanced solutions in an attempt to overcome the evolutionary shortfall.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1573-3
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Evolutionary history of campo rupestre : an approach for conservation of
           woody plant communities
    • Authors: Vanessa Pontara; Marcelo Leandro Bueno; Vanessa Leite Rezende; Ary Teixeira de Oliveira-Filho; Markus Gastauer; João Augusto Alves Meira-Neto
      Pages: 2877 - 2896
      Abstract: The campo rupestre sensu lato is among the most species-rich vegetation in the world, harbouring a high proportion of endemic species. We aimed to identify the processes that could generate a high level of phylogenetic diversity (PD) in campo rupestre for woody species and point out biodiversity hotspot areas which may provide additional information for conservation planning. We compiled a database of 2049 woody species from 185 community inventories. We calculated the evolutionary history using species richness (SR), PD, mean pairwise phylogenetic distance between species (MPD), the mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) and their equivalents standardised (ses.PDss, ses.MPD, ses.MNTD), evolutionary distinctiveness (ED), and biogeographically weighted evolutionary distinctiveness (BED). Cloud dwarf-forests had the highest SR, PD, MPD and ses.MPD and lowest MNTD, while rupestrian cerrado presented the highest ses.PD and ses.MNTD. All areas are important for conservation, but the intersections between the hotspots should receive special attention in future conservation actions. The grids identified as hotspots by three or more metrics were localized mainly in Espinhaço Range in Minas Gerais State and a further expansion of protected areas is required. Moreover, the intersections between the hotspots obtained by mean ED and ses.PD are concentrated in the rocky dwarf forest and rupestrian cerrado, with considerable conservation gaps. The degree of protection of campo rupestre was low with unprotected areas comprising 56% of the species. Our results show an urgent need for increasing protected areas of campo rupestre in order to avoid the loss of valuable, endemic species with unique evolutionary history.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1574-2
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Ecosystem services for conservation finance: applying the TEEB stepwise
           approach in Côte d’Ivoire
    • Authors: Augustin Berghöfer; Joshua Berger; Inza Koné; Ulrike Tröger; Hans Ulrich Caspary
      Pages: 2897 - 2917
      Abstract: Ecosystem service (ES) evidence and arguments can mobilize support for biodiversity conservation. However, the ES concept’s impact on the ground seems unclear: It is reliant upon a range of pre-requisites at the science-policy nexus and it tends to be science-driven and demanding in terms of data and required capacity. The TEEB stepwise approach (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Local and Regional Policy Makers, Earthscan, London, 2012) guides purpose-driven ES assessments and seeks to enhance the usefulness of the ES concept in difficult real-world settings. An application of this approach has not yet been appraised. Also, beyond the instrumental use of ES data (e.g. for the design of payment schemes for ES), there is little documented experience with strategically using ES arguments for mobilizing financial resources for conservation. As many other countries, Côte d’Ivoire does not have a strong knowledge base on ecosystem services (ES). Such circumstances can preclude the use of the ES concept for convincing potential donors to co-finance conservation. We examine the recent ES assessment for the Parc national de Taï (PNT), Côte d’Ivoire, which followed the TEEB stepwise approach. We look at process, results and outcomes to address three questions: (i) How did study results contribute to mobilizing funds for the PNT' (ii) In which ways was the TEEB stepwise approach useful in practice' (iii) What lessons can be drawn for ES assessments geared to conservation finance'
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1576-0
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • The method of conserving herbaceous grassland specialists through
           silvicultural activities under deer browsing pressure
    • Authors: Hayato Iijima; Chiaki Otsu
      Pages: 2919 - 2930
      Abstract: Early-successional herbs such as grassland specialists in semi-natural grasslands are decreasing because the intensity of using semi-natural grassland is decreasing for the decrease of human population or the usage of fossil fuel as energy source. Deer browsing also decreases grassland specialists. Silvicultural activities such as clearcutting, mowing of understory vegetation, and deer countermeasures may provide a suitable habitat for such grassland specialists. We aimed to clarify the method of conserving grassland specialists through silvicultural activities. We recorded all plant species that emerged in each quadrat, and measured their maximum heights within 80 quadrats that were established in four types of treatment sites in Yanagidaira, Japan. The four treatment sites were clearcut, fenced, and mowed (hereafter “fence site”); clearcut and mowed with tubed saplings (hereafter “tube site”); clearcut without deer countermeasures and mowing (hereafter “open site”); and not clearcut forest (hereafter “forest”). The total number of species and the number of species that occurred only in one treatment site of the four sites were highest in fence sites among the treatments. Those of tube and open sites were intermediate, whereas those of forest were the lowest. Grassland specialist forbs dominated in fence site, and grassland specialist graminoids and unpalatable grassland specialist forbs dominated in tube and open sites. The presence probabilities and maximum heights of grassland specialist forbs were significantly increased by deer exclusion, but those of grassland specialist graminoids were rarely affected by deer exclusion. Establishment of deer-proof fences in clearcut sites is effective in conserving grassland specialist forbs.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1577-z
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Applying species distribution modelling to improving conservation based
           decisions: a gap analysis of Trinidad and Tobago’s endemic vascular
    • Authors: Joshua A. Spiers; Michael P. Oatham; Luke V. Rostant; Aidan D. Farrell
      Pages: 2931 - 2949
      Abstract: For the successful conservation of a species, habitat loss and fragmentation must be controlled through a protected area network that adequately covers its habitat. Here the suitable habitats of all of Trinidad and Tobago’s endemic plant species are determined and used to perform a gap analysis of a proposed protected area network. Data from a recently completed botanical survey, the WorldClim 2 environmental parameters, and a range of other sources were used to determine the habitat of each species using the species distribution model MaxEnt. Modelled habitat suitability for each species was combined and used to create maps showing endemic richness, weighted endemism and corrected weighted endemism, and to rank areas by conservation value using Zonation. The coverage of the proposed protected area network and a land use map were overlaid on these modelled distributions. We identified data limitations which meant that more than half of the 66 endemic species could not be modelled with confidence. For the remaining species, we found that the proposed protected area network contains just 13 ± 7% of the total modelled habitat of the endemic species. For eight endemic species > 25% of the suitable habitat is degraded. Model analysis indicated that elevation and temperature seasonality are the most important drivers of endemism. Based on a gap analysis the inclusion of high elevation areas of Trinidad’s Northern Range in the proposed protected area network would expand the coverage to include > 25% of the total modelled habitat of the endemic species, thus greatly increasing the long-term sustainability of the endemic species populations.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1578-y
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Drivers of sett site location by European badgers in Portugal
    • Authors: Dário Hipólito; Diana Guedes; Diogo Cabecinha; Ana Serronha; Clara Grilo; Margarida Santos-Reis; Pedro Monterroso; João Carvalho; Carlos Fonseca; Xosé Pardavila; Emílio Virgós; Luís M. Rosalino
      Pages: 2951 - 2970
      Abstract: European badgers (Meles meles) are considered central-place foragers, whose spatial ecology is predominantly determined by sett location. Many studies have assessed the factors determining sett site selection throughout this species’ range, but these have often been geographically limited and have primarily identified locally dependent factors. To infer key factors determining sett location, a broader scale approach is needed. Between June 2014 and January 2017, we surveyed mainland Portugal to detect badger setts in 10 × 10 km cells, corresponding to a total of 657.5 km walked line transects. We detected 54 main setts in 136 surveyed cells. Each sett and non-sett site (i.e. transects without setts) was characterised using bioenvironmental variables (e.g. land cover, presence of human infrastructure, soil). We used generalized linear mixed models to test five hypotheses potentially explaining sett location: land cover composition; anthropogenic disturbance; abiotic environmental drivers; trophic resource availability; and a combined effect of all these factors. Our findings show that the key factors for badger sett site selection in Portugal are: (1) disturbance avoidance (low beehive density; absence of livestock; far from hunting reserves), but with a tendency to be located close to highways and unpaved roads; and (2) ease of excavation (avoidance of sedimentary/metamorphic composite rocks). Although specific factors among these drivers may be more important locally or regionally, these major drivers have also been identified elsewhere in Europe. Our nationwide approach contributes to a broader understanding of general patterns of sett site selection by badgers in southern Europe. Furthermore, it provides the national authorities with novel and broad-scale data to facilitate sustainable species conservation of badgers in the southwestern limit of their range.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1580-4
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Nature’s untold stories: an overview on the availability and type of
           on-line data on long-term biodiversity monitoring
    • Authors: Stefania Ondei; Barry W. Brook; Jessie C. Buettel
      Pages: 2971 - 2987
      Abstract: Long-term field-based monitoring is time and resource demanding. Consequently, there are few robust biodiversity databases that contain both a baseline and repeat measurements. On-line repositories represent a potential goldmine of conservation-relevant data, and are increasingly incentivized by funding agencies. However, there remains scarce information on their distribution and availability, limiting the possibility to exploit them to their full potential. Here we comprehensively searched and assessed open-access datasets where biodiversity has been monitored in the same site for at least 4 years, and where species and site locations were clearly reported. We located data on 75,669 field sites (9436 of which are in biodiversity hotspots), for a total of 28,723,226 records, monitoring a total of 15,046 different taxa. We found strong geographic and taxonomic biases. Monitoring sites were predominantly located in the Palearctic and Nearctic biogeographic realms and in the forest biome. Where fauna was monitored, the focus was mostly on amphibians and birds. Supporting open-access policies and developing strategies to fill the identified gaps will be crucial for improving our understanding of global biodiversity trends. Our results suggest, however, that we are on the right trajectory, with a vast storehouse of readily available (and often high quality) yet largely under-analysed biodiversity data now available online from a range of sources. We argue that such data can provide the required biodiversity baselines for national- or local-scale studies.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1582-2
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • The use of response measures in meta-analyses of land-use impacts on
           ecological communities: a review and the way forward
    • Authors: Anne-Maarit Hekkala; Jean-Michel Roberge
      Pages: 2989 - 3005
      Abstract: Species richness and total abundance are two of the most commonly used response measures in empirical studies of the effects of anthropogenic land-use on biodiversity, in spite of the fact that they are insensitive to changes in a range of community attributes. We evaluated the extent to which meta-analyses about the effects of forest land-use on ecological communities make use of gross species richness, diversity and abundance measures (hereafter low-informative measures) as opposed to more refined response variables conveying a higher degree of conservation-relevant information, e.g., by accounting for compositional or functional changes in the communities (high-informative measures). Nearly one-half of the 221 included meta-analyses were based solely on low-informative measures. The prevalence of low-informative measures was higher for meta-analyses belonging to studies encompassing a broad taxonomic scope and it has increased since 2002. Few differences were detected in the use of response measures among taxonomic groups, although there were indications that some better-known groups tended to be more often studied with high-informative measures. To provide guidance for future work, we synthesized the high-informative measures of biodiversity used in the reviewed studies. For better-informed meta-analyses, we encourage the use of more refined approaches to quantify impacts on communities in addition to species richness and total abundance measures. This may involve, for example, the use of β diversity and functional diversity measures, as well as separate analyses for different ecological groups or conservation status categories.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1583-1
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Rapid enhancement of biodiversity occurrence records using unconventional
           specimen data
    • Authors: Katelin D. Pearson
      Pages: 3007 - 3018
      Abstract: Distributions of taxa across time and space are central to understanding biodiversity and biotic change, yet currently available occurrence data, drawn from biodiversity specimen records and observational datasets, are often insufficient to answer many driving questions. Records of “associated taxa,” taxa co-occurring with a specimen at the time and place of collection, have the potential to fill data gaps and expand the spatiotemporal scope of current occurrence records. I developed a method to extract associated taxon records from 84,328 digitized specimen records and examined the potential of these data to improve the quantity and quality of existing species occurrence data. Adding associated taxon records increased the size of the test dataset by 18.5%, spanned multiple decades (1937–2016), and potentially extended the known range of 217 taxa in Florida and up to 1500 taxa in the United States, demonstrating the capacity of these records to deepen our understanding of changes in the distributions of taxa on Earth. These results suggest that increased attention to documenting associated taxa could be a promising way to maximize the impact of every collecting event.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1584-0
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Winners and losers in the wilderness: response of biodiversity to the
           abandonment of ancient forest pastures
    • Authors: Jakub Horák; Jan Pavlíček; Jiří Kout; Josef P. Halda
      Pages: 3019 - 3029
      Abstract: Large areas of formerly oak-dominated woodlands are currently managed for timber products, and if they are used in a conservation-oriented way, they are often abandoned and left to become wilderness. We focused on the situation when an oak woodland is still partly managed as an ancient game park and partly abandoned as a nature conservation amendment. We studied this effect using a multi-taxa approach with lichens, fungi and beetles and investigated their response to the changing patterns in canopy openness, dead wood distribution and host tree conditions. The study was done in the Hradec Králové region of the Czech Republic. We found that the maintenance of canopy openness, as determined by management, was the primary driver influencing species composition. Canopy closure led to homogenization of the beetle and lichen communities and the loss of species. Fungi were mainly driven by the amount of dead wood, and abandonment favored their species richness. The creation of a new wilderness was only profitable for fungi, and the maintenance of canopy openness was an important driver for most of the studied taxa (i.e., biodiversity maintenance). Canopy openness and the presence of veteran trees could be used as an indicator of a management history that helps conserve biodiversity. Appropriate conditions for all taxa studied could be fulfilled using wood pasturing or game keeping in combination with dead tree retention.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1585-z
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Globally common, locally rare: revisiting disregarded genetic diversity
           for conservation planning of widespread species
    • Authors: Mukesh Thakur; Esther Wullschleger Schättin; William J. McShea
      Pages: 3031 - 3035
      Abstract: Species endangerment, as determined by the national and international authorities, are crucial in conservation decisions at local and regional scales. While species are the priority unit of conservation, the subspecies of widespread species are often neglected in conservation planning and research, irrespective of their unique genetic identity. Peripheral populations of widespread species are often isolated and endangered while their status on the IUCN Red List is considered as ‘Least Concern’. We advocate for the evaluation of widespread polytypic species, and to recognize the importance of assessing intraspecific populations that are distinct from the distribution of widespread species.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1579-x
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • Invasive aquatic pets: failed policies increase risks of harmful invasions
    • Authors: Jiří Patoka; André Lincoln Barroso Magalhães; Antonín Kouba; Zen Faulkes; Rikho Jerikho; Jean Ricardo Simões Vitule
      Pages: 3037 - 3046
      Abstract: Businesses in the pet trade collect and transport many aquatic species around the globe, and some of these individuals are released into new habitats. Some jurisdictions have introduced laws intended to regulate this trade, but these regulations have rarely had the desired effects. Laws regarding pets and the pet trade are often poorly communicated, poorly enforced, and not aligned with hobbyists’ beliefs. Consequently, some laws may increase the number of unwanted introductions instead of decreasing them. A significant change in approach is needed, involving far greater communication with scientists, administrations, politicians, the pet industry, and pet owners, promoting euthanasia of unwanted pets rather than release, and the creation and promotion “white lists” of low risk species that can be sold in the pet trade.
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1581-3
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • The time has come: extending the role of scientists in conservation
    • Authors: Luiz H. Varzinczak
      Pages: 3047 - 3048
      PubDate: 2018-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1568-0
      Issue No: Vol. 27, No. 11 (2018)
  • The role played by invasive species in interactions with endangered and
           threatened species in the United States: a systematic review
    • Authors: Manuel-Angel Dueñas; Holly J. Ruffhead; Nicola H. Wakefield; Philip D. Roberts; David J. Hemming; Hilda Diaz-Soltero
      Abstract: Invasive species are considered to be a leading cause of the decline of threatened species. However, this view has been disputed because much of the evidence base is anecdotal. This systematic review, through an extensive, repeatable search using agreed selection criteria, examined the available scientific evidence on invasive species’ interactions with the 1363 endangered and threatened species protected under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA). The review found scientific evidence available for 116 endangered or threatened species (8.5% of the ESA list). Of these, 85 species (6.2%) were reported as being negatively impacted by invasive species: 39 located on the continental US and 39 on islands, with seven marine species. The relative percentages of species impacted differed according to location: 4.3% (n = 906) on the continental US, 9.3% (n = 420) on islands. It was found that predation by invasive vertebrates on birds on islands and competition between invasive plants and endangered or threatened plants on the mainland were the main mechanisms of impact. The results of this study contrast markedly with a previous study which found that 49% of imperilled species in the United States were threatened by invasive species. Further research is essential in order to evaluate the impact of invasive species on imperilled species on the ESA list; this would help to reduce the high degree of uncertainty regarding the threat of invasive species due to the lack of empirical information.
      PubDate: 2018-08-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1595-x
  • Effectiveness of genera as a higher-taxon substitute for species in ant
           biodiversity analyses is not affected by sampling technique
    • Authors: Jorge L. P. Souza; Fabricio B. Baccaro; Pedro A. C. L. Pequeno; Elizabeth Franklin; William E. Magnusson
      Abstract: Survey costs and a lack of taxonomists are often the main impediments to biodiversity inventories. The use of a higher-taxon approach that is efficient in representing species patterns within a short period of time is one way to overcome these constraints, especially if these responses are consistent at various spatial scales and sampling techniques. Here, we evaluated whether the use of pitfall trapping or Winkler extraction influenced the utility of genus as a surrogate to predict patterns of species richness and composition related to environment. The study sites were spread along 10 degrees of latitude, covering phytophysiognomies with different topographic characteristics. We recorded 450 ant species/morphospecies distributed in 70 genera. Pitfall-traps captured a larger proportion of species (77–98%) and genera (71–100%) per site. Genus was efficient in predicting variations in richness, and assemblage composition detected at the species level, using pitfall-traps or Winkler extractors. The higher-taxon approach saved approximately 40% of the surveys costs. The negative effect of the species-genus ratio was detected only on species composition, but it did not affect the quality of predictions using genera. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that genus can be used as a proxy for broader sets of species independent of sampling technique or environmental heterogeneity. The use of pitfall-traps or Winkler extractors for genus-level identification proved to be cost-efficient and time-efficient and should work well in other regions requiring conservation effort and monitoring programs.
      PubDate: 2018-08-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-018-1607-x
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