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  Subjects -> CONSERVATION (Total: 128 journals)
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Biodiversity and Conservation
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.243
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 207  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0960-3115 - ISSN (Online) 1572-9710
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2468 journals]
  • New Australian frontier in freshwater fish invasion via Torres Strait

    • Abstract: Abstract All continents, excluding Antarctica and the Artic, have been affected by incursion from alien freshwater fish species. Australia has not been spared. Four hundred and fifty species have now been declared on the ornamental importation list, making management a real challenge. With approximately 25 non-native species documented, Papua New Guinea (PNG) has likely some problems with invasive freshwater fish. Many of these species have been intentionally introduced to increase access to food as a protein source for remote communities or have spread naturally from western parts of Java and Indonesia, and now constitute a large biomass on some floodplain areas in PNG. The Torres Strait is located between PNG and northern Queensland and was previously a land bridge, though now under higher sea levels the region exists as a series of approximately 300 islands. The threat of further range extension of freshwater fish from PNG into northern Queensland via the Torres Strait Islands is significant, with two invasive fish species already recorded on northern islands of the Torres Strait (climbing perch, Anabas testudineus which has been continually recorded for the past decade; and recently the GIFT tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus). Here we present a case to control further spread of invasive freshwater fish species towards Australia, using a Land and Sea Ranger program, where Rangers are trained to be confident in the identification of pest fish species and to implement strategies to protect their borders from potential future incursions. The success of this program relies on Rangers to continue partaking in surveillance monitoring of coastal waters, checking and controlling for any new invasive species moving from PNG into Australian waters. We outline the biosecurity obligation under Article 14 of the Treaty between the two nations, which identifies the importance of conservation and protection of coastal floodplains from invasive species, and the spread between both nations.
      PubDate: 2023-12-01
  • Assessing concrete nest boxes for cavity-nesting bees

    • Abstract: Abstract Artificial nest boxes for solitary bees and other cavity-nesting Hymenoptera are increasingly used for a variety of purposes, including ecological research, crop pollination support and public outreach. Their attractivity and colonization success by cavity-nesting solitary bees depend on their design and placement, including hole dimensions, orientation and the neighboring habitats and available resources. While most bee nest boxes are made of wooden materials, we assessed here the suitability of perennial, concrete nest boxes for cavity-nesting bees. We carried out a three-year nesting survey of 52 custom-made nest boxes located in 11 different sites throughout France and totaling 2912 available holes of 6, 8, 10 or 12 mm in diameter. Concrete nest boxes successfully attracted reproductive females of solitary bee species and supported successful larval development until the emergence of new individuals. Preferred cavities were the smallest ones (6-8 mm), located at the lowest tested positions above ground (31-47 cm) and oriented southward. Local bee populations established in nest boxes steadily increased throughout the three successive seasons in nearly all study sites. The cavity-nesting bee communities were mostly composed of rather common and generalist species, but also comprised a foraging specialist. Additionally, two cleptoparasitic bee species were detected. All species belonged to the Megachilidae. We further discuss the effects of neighboring urban and natural habitats as potential source or sink of nesting bees, as well as opportunities of concrete nest boxes as tools for urban agriculture and more generally for the new biomimetic urban designs to restore local ecosystem services in cities.
      PubDate: 2023-12-01
  • Unstructured citizen science reduces the perception of butterfly local
           extinctions: the interplay between species traits and user effort

    • Abstract: Abstract The detection of local extinctions is often hindered by the lack of long-term monitoring schemes, and thus relies on time series of presence data. Recently, citizen science has repeatedly shown its value in documenting species occurrences. We investigated the effectiveness of unstructured citizen science records in reducing the perception of local extinctions in butterfly populations across Italian National Parks. We addressed three research questions: (i) the ability of citizen science data to supplement existing knowledge to complete time series of occurrences, (ii) the impact on data collection of three species features (species size, distribution and length of flight period) determining their appearance, and (iii) the interplay between participant effort and species appearance in the amount of diversity recorded on the iNaturalist platform. Our analysis of 98,922 records of Italian butterflies (39,929 from literature and 58,993 from iNaturalist of which 7427 from National Parks) showed that the addition of iNaturalist data filled many recent gaps in time series, thus reducing the perception of potential local extinctions. Records from more engaged users encompassed a higher fraction of local biodiversity and were more likely to reduce the perception of local extinctions. User effort strongly interacted with species features in determining the frequency of records for individual species. In particular, more engaged users were less affected by species size. We provided updated butterfly checklists for Italian National Parks and a R package to calculate potential extinction upon time series. These results offer guidance for protected areas, conservationists, policymakers, and citizen scientists to optimize monitoring of local populations.
      PubDate: 2023-12-01
  • Insect diversity in heterogeneous agro-environments of Central Europe

    • Abstract: Abstract Insect diversity has been decreasing significantly during the past decades. A main driver causing this negative trend is agricultural intensification, which causes habitat destruction and a deterioration of habitat quality. We caught flying arthropods with 28 Malaise traps and two light traps across a heterogeneous Central European agro-environment in southern Germany over a period of four years. The arthropods captured with Malaise traps were assigned to barcode index numbers (BINs) based on metabarcoding. Lepidopterans caught with light traps and light towers were identified based on morphological characters. Within the four years study, a total of 11,984 insect operational taxonomic units (OTUs) related to unique BINs on BOLD (> 95% similarity) were recorded across this agro-environment. 7835 of them could be assigned to insect order and the vast majority of them represent different species. Different estimates of the total species richness ranged between 8188 and 11,512 OTUs (a proxy for species). This number corresponds to about 26–36% of the total German insect fauna. Light trapping also yielded a high species diversity and returned 502 Lepidoptera species (compared to 784 species captured with Malaise traps). The overlap between light and Malaise traps was less than 45%. The Malaise trap catches showed that insects are more diverse along forest edges than in the centre of meadows. Our findings underline the high value of heterogeneous agro-environments for biodiversity, and the high value when combining data collected with different sampling techniques.
      PubDate: 2023-12-01
  • Environmental DNA from soil reveals the presence of a “lost”
           Afrotherian species

    • Abstract: Abstract Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has attracted worldwide attention over the past few years as an emerging approach to characterising and monitoring biodiversity, and has become particularly important for species that are rare, elusive or endangered. Most animal studies to date have focused on aquatic taxa; studies on other metazoan taxa, particularly wildlife in terrestrial environments, are scarce, with only a handful utilizing soil sources. We aimed to investigate the use of DNA barcoding from soil eDNA in (1) detecting rare/elusive/threatened species and (2) as a tool to investigate and potentially monitor range distributions. Through extensive eDNA sampling along the west coast of South Africa, we aimed to refine the distributions of four golden mole species thought to occur there, and specifically to determine whether De Winton’s golden mole, Cryptochloris wintoni (IUCN Critically Endangered; Possibly Extinct), is in fact extant or extinct. Sequences were generated for three barcode markers (mtDNA cyt b, 12S and nuclear GHR) using next-generation amplicon sequencing. Tissue samples from four specimens were used to generate reference sequences for species identification, along with available GenBank sequences. We were able to (1) successfully detect all four species in our data, and (2) improve records of the distributions of these species. Furthermore, we uncovered cryptic diversity in Eremitalpa granti. Our data conclusively reveal the presence of the elusive Cryptochloris wintoni and suggest that this species may in fact be widespread, but not necessarily abundant, and certainly less so in areas subjected to mining activities, which continue to pose a threat to the species.
      PubDate: 2023-11-24
  • Documentation of commercial and subsistence hunting of Critically
           Endangered black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) in
           northeastern Madagascar

    • Abstract: Abstract Hunting of wild animals for meat and habitat loss are the main drivers of wildlife population decline around the world, and in tropical regions in particular. While Madagascar is a hotspot for biodiversity, hunting is widespread, mostly in form of subsistence hunting, while hunting for the pet trade is less often reported. We studied hunting of the Critically Endangered black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) in northeastern Madagascar. Using lemur surveys (102.7 km survey effort) and 54 semi-structured and seven key informant interviews, we assessed the local knowledge, hunting pressure, and the perceived and actual abundances of V. variegata in two hunting and two non-hunting villages. V. variegata was well known (> 83%) by the respondents but abundance estimates differed significantly between hunting and non-hunting villages, with 26% and 77% of respondents, respectively, estimating a high abundance of ruffed lemurs in the adjacent forests of the villages. Actual observations of V. variegata also differed strongly, in accordance to perceived abundances. Hunting was either done by trapping animals or by pursuit hunts. In both hunting villages, adult lemurs were used for direct meat consumption and juveniles for rearing for the later trade. Hand-raised V. variegata were reported to be sold for 38–71 USD on regional markets or ‘delivered’ directly to buyers. While wildlife hunting has been widely reported from all over Madagascar, commercial hunting, hand-rearing and trading adds a new dimension of threat towards these Critically Endangered lemurs. As such, the extent of the trade is a priority for future studies.
      PubDate: 2023-11-11
  • Effects of protected areas on soil nematode communities in forests of the
           North of Portugal

    • Abstract: Abstract Nature conservation policy is mainly concerned with aboveground terrestrial species and soil biodiversity has been largely ignored, resulting in a lack of information about the conservation status of most soil organisms and about the effects that nature conservation policies have on soil systems. Forests in Northern Portugal are characterized by a remarkable diversity of ecosystems and provide habitat for an enormous diversity of living organisms. This study aims to investigate whether and to what extent protected areas and forest typology (native vs. exotic) affect soil nematode biodiversity and functions in forest ecosystems. We studied soil nematode communities, which have been widely used for their bioindicator value, to: (i) assess differences in soil biodiversity and functions between protected and non-protected areas, and between native and exotic forest types; and (ii) infer how protected areas deal with pressures and drivers of soil biodiversity and functions. We showed that current work done by nature conservation in Northern Portugal is producing some significant effects on the soil system, showing a larger Structure and Omnivore footprints and greater abundance of fungivorous and omnivorous nematodes in protected areas. Furthermore, native forest areas are better suited to ensure soil biodiversity and ecological functioning and should have a greater importance in nature conservation measures. Soil organic carbon, apparent density, soil moisture, and deciduous forest cover mainly influenced soil functional biodiversity with higher nematode trophic groups being positively associated with soil organic carbon and moisture and negatively associated with apparent density. Finally, conservation efforts targeted at the protection of native forests need to better consider effects on soil biodiversity and function, to provide an integrated protection of both aboveground and belowground components.
      PubDate: 2023-11-04
  • Significant decline in habitat specialists in semi-dry grasslands over
           four decades

    • Abstract: Abstract Semi-dry grasslands are among the most species-rich plant communities in the world, harbouring many specialised and threatened species. Most of these grasslands were traditionally maintained by grazing and hay-making. After traditional management ended, protected areas were established and conservation management was introduced to protect the most valuable grassland sites. However, recent changes in land use, eutrophication and climate warming are negatively impacting the biodiversity of these grasslands. In 2022, we resurveyed historical vegetation plots in the Central Moravian Carpathians (Czech Republic), first sampled in the 1980s, to test whether the plant species composition and richness of semi-dry grasslands are changing over time and, if so, whether the decline in habitat quality and plant diversity is absent or less severe in protected areas. We found significant changes in species composition. Species richness and the proportion of habitat specialists and Red-List species decreased, whereas competitively stronger species with higher moisture and nutrient requirements increased. These trends were more pronounced outside the protected areas but also occurred within protected areas. The main factor behind these changes appears to be the cessation of traditional management and natural succession supported by eutrophication.
      PubDate: 2023-11-04
  • Drivers, predictors, and probabilities of plant extinctions in South

    • Abstract: Abstract Understanding how and why plants are driven to extinction is important if future extinctions are to be prevented. Here we examined reasons for extinctions of plants using data from the South African Red List, which includes 33 Extinct taxa from 15 families and 24 genera including seven infraspecific taxa. We also compared Extinct taxa with those that are threatened and not-threatened, exploring predictors of extinction based on traits, distribution, and anthropogenic threats. Finally, we applied two structured approaches to estimate the probability of extinction—the first uses argument-maps based on threat information and the second is based on survey-effort. We found that most extinctions were recorded in the Cape Floristic Region and were of perennial shrubs. Most taxa recorded as Extinct were only known from one site and are assumed to have been range restricted. Range size was, therefore, unsurprisingly the strongest predictor of extinction. The next strongest predictor was habitat loss. Based on the argument-map approach only 36% of Extinct taxa met an assigned extinction threshold, with most taxa categorised as Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct (50%). Only two taxa had sufficient data to evaluate the survey-effort approach. We support the use of both the argument-map and the survey-effort approaches to evaluate evidence for extinction but caution against strictly applying these methods as the only assessment tools. These approaches provide an evidence-based, quantitative, and well-documented process to support Red List assessments. Furthermore, they highlight knowledge gaps, the value of surveys and the need to improve threat documentation and monitoring. Use of these approaches can improve understanding of species ecology, thereby providing an essential foundation for conservation efforts to prevent extinctions.
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
  • The role of aftercare in plant translocation

    • Abstract: Abstract Plant translocation can increase the chances of long-term survival of threatened plant species; nevertheless, can be costly and challenging, with unknowns in the pre- and post-release phases, limiting success. Methodological advances have been made in the pre-release phase but long-term monitoring and post-release site management (i.e., “aftercare”) are not always applied and almost neglected in the literature despite being frequently effective for identifying and mitigating unexpected threats (e.g., interspecific competition, herbivory) to outplant survival. Aiming to fill this gap, we reviewed published and gray literature on 296 translocations to shed light on the importance of aftercare on translocation outcome. We identified the most common aftercare techniques, then we performed a meta-analysis on a subset of studies that were specifically designed to test the effect of aftercare against a control (i.e., no aftercare). The most common aftercare techniques were competition reduction, water irrigation and plant protection. Aftercare significantly increased the percentage of survival of plants when herbivory reduction and other understorey species were enhanced. Aftercare reported also a positive trend toward improved qualitative outcome when plants were protected or competition was mitigated. Nevertheless, more evidence is needed on the importance and effectiveness of aftercare techniques. Long-term monitoring and post-release site management should be the post-translocation standard in plant translocations when ethical and possible, with plant protection, competition limitation and water irrigation being applied when needed to reduce transplant mortality. To provide statistically supported data on the effect of aftercare on translocation outcome, aftercare should be tested against a control when feasible.
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
  • River benthic macroinvertebrates and environmental DNA metabarcoding: a
           scoping review of eDNA sampling, extraction, amplification and sequencing

    • Abstract: Abstract There is a growing body of literature on the use of molecular methods for the ecological assessment of rivers based on benthic macroinvertebrates. Previous research has established the benefits of the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess benthic macroinvertebrate communities as being more efficient, less subjective, and non-invasive compared to traditional methods. The aim of this review is to synthesize the existing knowledge on eDNA sampling, extraction, amplification and sequencing methods regarding river benthic macroinvertebrate metabarcoding studies. Literature searches were performed using two online databases, and following a screening process, 46 papers published between 2012 and 2022 met the eligibility criteria to be included in the review. Since the use of river macrobial eDNA in ecology is a fast-evolving field, the results showed that the methodologies used vary considerably among studies. A variety of filters are used for capturing eDNA from water or preservative ethanol and different sources of eDNA (i.e., sediment, biofilm) are also explored. This review identified 12 different extraction methods and 15 different primer pairs that were used more than once in benthic macroinvertebrate eDNA metabarcoding studies. Therefore, there is a need for standardization of some key steps of the eDNA metabarcoding process to increase the comparability of the results and the robustness of the methods for further implementation into large-scale monitoring programs.
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
  • Landscape and road features linked to wildlife mortality in the Amazon

    • Abstract: Abstract Roads impact wildlife around the world; however, dedicated studies are lacking in many biodiverse areas such as the Amazon. Identifying which species are more often hit by vehicles and which landscape and road-related features promote roadkill is essential to guide future development and ensure adequate mitigation actions. For six months, we monitored 240 km of roads in the Ecuadorian Amazon and recorded 1125 dead vertebrates (149 species). Reptiles were the most observed Class with 380 individuals (56 species), followed by amphibians with 278 individuals (11 species), birds with 259 individuals (62 species), and mammals with 208 individuals (20 species). We used Random Forest models to explore the role of various land cover types and road sinuosity on the observed mortality. Additionally, we created heatmaps to visualize the road segments where roadkills were more frequent. For all vertebrates, mortality was more likely in straight road sections near rivers. The effects of other variables were taxa-specific. Amphibian mortality was more likely near bare soil or forest, birds and mammals died more often near herbaceous-shrubby vegetation, and reptile mortality occurred more often in areas with high cover of agriculture. Road segments with high mortality (i.e., roadkill hotspots) varied across taxa. These hotspots identify areas where further research into mitigation is needed to assess road impacts and prevent collisions. Among records, we found rare and threatened species, for which road mortality could be a significant threat. Roadkill surveys not only aid in quantifying threats and informing future planning but can also provide insight into local biodiversity.
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
  • Riparian forests throwback at the Eurasian beaver era: a woody vegetation
           assessment for Mediterranean regions

    • Abstract: Several biotic and abiotic interactions will contribute to riparian ecosystem changes. The impact of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) on woody vegetation is still unknown for the Mediterranean biogeographical area. Through a replicable approach applied on a cluster of three rivers, we studied how the tree layer of Mediterranean riparian sites is impacted by the beaver's recent comeback. For each site, we collected data (e.g., stem diameter, species, distance from riverbank) for all standing trees and additional information only for gnawed trees at plot level. Data elaboration allowed to characterise impacts on riparian vegetation. Salix spp. and Populus spp. are the main gnawed species, but sporadically other species can be selected based on their size and spatial distribution (e.g., Alnus glutinosa). Diameter means of gnawed trees are significantly lower than the not gnawed ones. Most of the selected trees have low diameter classes (< 12 cm), even if diameter preferences may vary on the basis of overall stand tree size range and distribution. Over 90% of the gnawed trees are entirely harvested, with stumps as the remaining standing element. Main changes on the overall forest stand occurred in the first ten metres from the riverbank, as beaver gnawing activity is significantly influenced by the interaction among tree distance from the river and diameter size. Our approach can be used as a model system to be implemented in other Mediterranean sites where beaver is expanding, with the aim of predicting mid-term riparian forests vegetation changes. Graphical abstract
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
  • DNA barcoding reveals cryptic diversification and taxonomic discordance
           among bats and birds within Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Abstract: Abstract Cryptic species present a challenge for conservation, as species diversity may remain undetected. In zoological research, DNA barcoding of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) has become a useful heuristic tool for aiding species resolution and informing species discovery. Despite concerted efforts to genetically barcode bats and birds, comprehensive assessments have yet to be undertaken across the Afrotropics. We retrieved available DNA barcodes of native breeding Afrotropical bat and bird species. Using Bayesian phylogenetic modelling, we assessed DNA barcode performance at species identification, and sought to detect notable intraspecific clade partitioning hinting at cryptic speciation. Available DNA barcodes represent only 42.3% and 23.6% of the relevant bat and bird species diversity, respectively, with only 18.7% of bat species and 7.2% of bird species having geographically spread records. DNA barcodes afforded greater taxonomic resolution of Afrotropical bird species than of bats (96.8% vs. 84.0%), with bats having a higher proportion of species non-monophyly (25.5% vs. 4.8%). Well-supported (≥ 95% posterior probability) clade partitioning was inferable from twenty-one bat species and fifteen bird species, and a further single under-sampled bat species and fifteen such bird species showed deep (> 2.0%) intraspecific divergences. These phylogenetic signatures allude to cryptic speciation within these volant taxa, and serve to prompt more comprehensive assessments of Afrotropical fauna. These findings also indirectly affirm the importance of paleoclimatic refugia to endemic vertebrate diversity. The current taxonomic status of birds is better supported by this molecular evidence than that of bats.
      PubDate: 2023-10-21
  • Elevational changes in canopy Collembola community composition are
           primarily driven by species turnover on Changbai Mountain, northeastern

    • Abstract: Abstract Forest canopies harbor extraordinary biodiversity, with Collembola being one of the most abundant arthropod taxa. However, much of the research on canopy biodiversity has focused on tropical and subtropical regions, leaving a gap in our understanding of canopy communities in temperate and boreal forests. Studying canopy Collembola along elevational gradients can be particularly informative because several environmental factors change with elevation, and these changes may mirror those seen along latitudinal gradients. To better understand and conserve canopy Collembola diversity along elevational gradients, natural forests are of particular interest. In this study, we used canopy fogging to sample canopy Collembola at four elevation sites (800–1700 m a.s.l.) on Changbai Mountain, northeastern China, representing three natural forest types. We examined changes in species richness, abundance and composition of canopy Collembola, and partitioned beta diversity into nestedness and turnover to identify processes driving changes in community composition. We identified 53 morphospecies among 10,191 individuals, with Entomobryidae and Hypogastruridae being the dominant families. The highest abundance and species richness were observed at 1400 m and remained at similar levels at 1700 m, indicating an increasing pattern with elevation. Species turnover was the main driver of changes in community composition with elevation. Our results provide insights into the shift of canopy Collembola communities across an elevational gradient in temperate boreal forests.
      PubDate: 2023-10-17
  • Discourses on landscape governance and transfrontier conservation areas:
           converging, diverging and evolving discourses with geographic contextual

    • Abstract: Abstract Transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) are regarded as crucial instruments for biodiversity conservation as they connect landscapes across country borders. The TFCA framework is built on multi-actor, multi-sector and multi-level negotiations, a concept that incorporates principles of landscape governance (LG). This article is driven by our interest in the governance of transfrontier landscapes such as the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The study aims to explore the narratives of two academic discourses of TFCA and LG. The study uses a bibliometric analysis and systematic review based on PRISMA to determine (i) to which degree the two discourses share commonalities in their narratives and take each other into account (ii) how the discourses have developed between 1998 and 2022 (iii) the geographical distribution of publications on the two discourses. Our results identified six clusters which include: African Wildlife Conservation, Governance for Biodiversity Conservation, TFCA Wildlife Connectivity, Policies and Strategies, Political Ecology, and Management of Protected Areas. The discourses depict commonalities attributed to conservation, power and actor roles. However, LG is more governance-oriented while TFCA is more skewed towards wildlife management. The TFCA discourse is a more Southern African-centred debate whilst the LG debate is more rooted in the global North resulting from unique challenges, priorities, and approaches to landscape management. Moreover, a shift from a conservation-centred approach to a more holistic social-ecological system approach is evident. By leveraging on LG and TFCA strengths, cross-fertilization can foster meaningful cross-collaborations in managing different landscapes through dialogue, knowledge sharing, and identifying common goals, challenges and opportunities.
      PubDate: 2023-10-17
  • Temporal changes in boreal vegetation under 70 years of conservation

    • Abstract: Abstract Biodiversity conservation through protected areas (PAs) is often based on the idea that biodiversity is relatively static. This assumption is increasingly being challenged as species and communities shift their distributions in response to changing environmental conditions. Empirical evidence on the performance of PAs over decades is still sparse or lacking from several environments, although it is needed to understand species dynamics, support modelling of PA performance, assist PA management and ultimately, to achieve global biodiversity conservation goals. In 2021, we resurveyed vegetation of five boreal habitat types (heath forests, paludified forests, sun-exposed sites, mires and eulittoral sites) in Rokua National Park in Finland, where one of the conservation targets is to preserve the flora characteristic of the area. The study sites were originally surveyed in 1945-49, just before the National Park was established. Study sites have also remained free from the disturbances (forest fires and reindeer grazing) typical of boreal regions. We show that the compositional similarity of plant communities between habitat types has increased over time and is associated with the increase of forest species in several habitat types and the loss of many habitat-specific species. Drivers of change were most often linked to ongoing succession (understory closure) and changes in moisture conditions. Our results suggest that without natural disturbance or appropriate management efforts, the original conservation targets may be compromised over the decades. Our study demonstrates that resurvey of historical vegetation data can be effectively used to estimate long-term PA performance, helping to fill in missing temporal evidence.
      PubDate: 2023-10-17
  • Assessing global warming vulnerability of restricted and common plant
           species in alpine habitats on two Oceanic Islands

    • Abstract: Abstract Climate change is modifying plant communities and ecosystems around the world. Alpine ecosystems are of special concern on oceanic islands, due to their characteristic higher endemicity percentage, small area and undergoing severe climate change impact in the last few decades. During recent decades there has been increasing interest in the effects of climate change on biodiversity and a range of methods have been developed to assess species vulnerability. However, some new insights are necessary to obtain useful information for species management on oceanic islands. Here in the alpine area of two oceanic islands (Tenerife and La Palma) we evaluate the drivers that best explain the vulnerability of 63 endemic species along three scenarios, covering recent past to present and two future projections (2041–2060 and 2061–2080). The selected drivers were: loss of potential area, mismatch index between potential and occupied areas in different scenarios, and adaptive capacity constraints. We assess the influence of potential area size and whether the drivers of risk and the vulnerability for common, restricted and rare species are significantly different. Our results indicate that management must be widely distributed over the species, and not only focus on restricted species. Evidence for this was that drivers directly deriving from climate change showed no significant differences in their impact on the rarity groups identified. Vulnerability depends partially on the potential area size, showing a more complex picture where constraints on the adaptive capacity of the species have a strong enough influence to modify the effects of the characteristic drivers of climate change.
      PubDate: 2023-10-14
  • Interplay between pond size and matrix extent drives odonate diversity
           patterns in a fragmented landscape

    • Abstract: Abstract Landscape fragmentation impacts freshwater habitats and their quality, affecting aquatic insect assemblages. Adjacent terrestrial areas are important secondary habitats where amphibiotic insects mature, feed, find mates, and move to locate aquatic breeding habitats. Using a factorial design with 27 small and large ponds within small and large natural patches in an exotic tree plantation-fragmented landscape of South Africa, and odonates as model organisms, we investigated (1) how pond size/natural terrestrial patch size interaction affects odonate diversity patterns versus habitat quality variables, and (2) determined whether anisopterans and zygopterans respond differently to landscape fragmentation. Species richness was similar among ponds. However, odonate abundance was highest in large ponds regardless of natural terrestrial patch size. Zygopteran functional richness and diversity was driven by pond and natural patch size, suggesting that zygopterans are sensitive to landscape fragmentation. In contrast, anisopterans were more resilient to fragmentation and more likely to select suitable habitats following water chemistry and vegetation characteristics. Overall, large ponds were occupied by different odonate assemblages compared to small ponds, and occupancy was strongly associated with mobility traits. These findings emphasize that ponds in both small and large natural terrestrial patches have conservation value. A pondscape that represents various pond sizes is important for maintaining regional odonate diversity. Pond conservation needs to be considered in the wider terrestrial context, which host a range of important secondary habitats. Adjacent natural terrestrial habitats also connect nearby aquatic habitats, which enable insects to move across the landscape in response to natural and artificial drivers.
      PubDate: 2023-10-11
  • Spatial patterns of phylogenetic and species diversity of fennoscandian
           vascular plants in protected areas

    • Abstract: Abstract Protected areas are one of the main strategic means for conserving biodiversity. Yet, the design of protected areas usually neglects phylogenetic diversity, an important diversity measure. In this paper we assess the phylogenetic diversity and species richness of vascular plants in Fennoscandian protected areas. We evaluate how much species richness and phylogenetic diversity is found within and outside protected areas, and the differences in plant diversity between different categories of protected areas. We also assess the differences in the diversity-area relationship of the different protected area categories in terms of both species richness and phylogenetic diversity. We build a multi-locus phylogeny of 1,519 native vascular plants of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. We estimate the phylogenetic diversity and species richness by combining the phylogeny with publicly available occurrence data and the currently protected area system of Fennoscandia. Our results indicate that protected areas in Fennoscandia hold more plant diversity when larger, and that phylogenetic diversity increases faster with area than species richness. We found evidence for more plant diversity outside of protected areas of the different countries of Fennoscandia than inside of protected areas, but no evidence for plant diversity differences between areas with different protection status. Hence, our results indicate that the current protected area system in Fennoscandia is no more effective in conserving phylogenetic diversity and species richness of vascular plants than a random selection of localities. Our results also indicate that planning conservation strategies around phylogenetic diversity, rather than species richness, might be a first step to protect vascular plant diversity more effectively.
      PubDate: 2023-09-15
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