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Journal Cover Biodiversity and Conservation
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0960-3115 - ISSN (Online) 1572-9710
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2352 journals]
  • Building capacity in biodiversity monitoring at the global scale
    • Authors: Dirk S. Schmeller; Monika Böhm; Christos Arvanitidis; Shannon Barber-Meyer; Neil Brummitt; Mark Chandler; Eva Chatzinikolaou; Mark J. Costello; Hui Ding; Jaime García-Moreno; Mike Gill; Peter Haase; Miranda Jones; Romain Juillard; William E. Magnusson; Corinne S. Martin; Melodie McGeoch; Jean-Baptiste Mihoub; Nathalie Pettorelli; Vânia Proença; Cui Peng; Eugenie Regan; Ute Schmiedel; John P. Simaika; Lauren Weatherdon; Carly Waterman; Haigen Xu; Jayne Belnap
      Pages: 2765 - 2790
      Abstract: Abstract Human-driven global change is causing ongoing declines in biodiversity worldwide. In order to address these declines, decision-makers need accurate assessments of the status of and pressures on biodiversity. However, these are heavily constrained by incomplete and uneven spatial, temporal and taxonomic coverage. For instance, data from regions such as Europe and North America are currently used overwhelmingly for large-scale biodiversity assessments due to lesser availability of suitable data from other, more biodiversity-rich, regions. These data-poor regions are often those experiencing the strongest threats to biodiversity, however. There is therefore an urgent need to fill the existing gaps in global biodiversity monitoring. Here, we review current knowledge on best practice in capacity building for biodiversity monitoring and provide an overview of existing means to improve biodiversity data collection considering the different types of biodiversity monitoring data. Our review comprises insights from work in Africa, South America, Polar Regions and Europe; in government-funded, volunteer and citizen-based monitoring in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. The key steps to effectively building capacity in biodiversity monitoring are: identifying monitoring questions and aims; identifying the key components, functions, and processes to monitor; identifying the most suitable monitoring methods for these elements, carrying out monitoring activities; managing the resultant data; and interpreting monitoring data. Additionally, biodiversity monitoring should use multiple approaches including extensive and intensive monitoring through volunteers and professional scientists but also harnessing new technologies. Finally, we call on the scientific community to share biodiversity monitoring data, knowledge and tools to ensure the accessibility, interoperability, and reporting of biodiversity data at a global scale.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1388-7
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • When natural history collections reveal secrets on data deficient
           threatened species: Atlantic seahorses as a case study
    • Authors: Francisco Otero-Ferrer; José A. González; Mafalda Freitas; Ricardo Araújo; José M. N. Azevedo; William V. Holt; Fernando Tuya; Ricardo Haroun
      Pages: 2791 - 2802
      Abstract: Abstract Natural history collections from museums and private institutions can play an important role supporting decisions in biodiversity conservation. Seahorse populations have suffered a worldwide decline, while many areas remain data deficient including areas subjected to heavy commercial trading, such as the coasts of West Africa. In this work, seahorse collections from museums and public institutions in Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands) were initially reviewed (1) to identify specimens not previously determined, and (2) to correct species determinations from Macaronesia and adjacent West African coasts. The morphological data (3) were tested for phenotypic variation of seahorses within and between Macaronesia and adjacent West African coasts. The presence of Hippocampus hippocampus (short-snouted seahorse) and Hippocampus algiricus (West African seahorse) was confirmed for the area, including new sightings along previous geographical distribution ranges. Morphological analyses partitioned seahorse species and several morphotypes within and between Macaronesia and adjacent West African coasts. This phenotypic plasticity was associated with cranial morphology. Such differences are a useful tool for tracking seahorse populations of varying species and origins. New information presented here, is valuable for improving the management and conservation of seahorses, particularly in areas threatened by illegal trading or other anthropogenic activities.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1385-x
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Assessing the relative importance of isolated Ficus trees to insectivorous
           birds in an Indian human-modified tropical landscape
    • Authors: Thomas J. Matthews; H. Eden W. Cottee-Jones; Tom P. Bregman; Robert J. Whittaker
      Pages: 2803 - 2819
      Abstract: Abstract The destruction of forest for agricultural expansion has created a vast estate of human-modified land in tropical regions. One group of organisms that are particularly vulnerable to the loss of forest habitat are insectivorous birds. Despite this, few conservation strategies have been identified for this group in human-modified landscapes. We survey the use of 104 isolated trees by insectivorous birds in rural Assam, India. We used an information theoretic model comparison approach to determine the important variables driving insectivorous bird diversity within these isolated trees. Our work demonstrates that the conservation of large trees in human-modified landscapes may play an important role in maintaining bird diversity and ecological function beyond the forest edge. More specifically, we found that isolated Ficus trees hold assemblages with particularly high insectivore abundance, richness and functional diversity when compared to other isolated fruit and large trees. We argue that, where present, Ficus trees should be actively conserved in human-modified landscapes to maintain the composition of insectivore communities in a “Ficus first” strategy.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1387-8
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Sharing biodiversity data: citizen scientists’ concerns and
    • Authors: Wessel Ganzevoort; Riyan J. G. van den Born; Willem Halffman; Sander Turnhout
      Pages: 2821 - 2837
      Abstract: Abstract Citizen scientists play a pivotal role in providing necessary biodiversity data. To ensure the continued involvement of a strong volunteer base, insight into the concerns and motivations of voluntary recorders is crucial. This paper presents the findings of a large-scale survey (N = 2193) among Dutch volunteer biodiversity recorders of diverse taxa, and focuses on three questions: what are the characteristics of these citizen scientists regarding their activities and socio-demographic background, what are their motivations for recording biodiversity, and what are their views on data sharing and ownership' Our findings show that a connection to, interest in and concern for nature are the most important motivations for biodiversity recorders. Volunteer recorders have high expectations regarding the impact of their data, both for their own learning as well as for science and management. Almost half the volunteers consider their data to be public goods, but this does not mean they support unconditional data sharing. Instead, the acceptability of data sharing with third parties seems strongly linked to the goals of the user. We discuss the implications of our findings for practitioners, such as the role of biology curricula and the importance of learning opportunities to redress the lack of younger volunteers. We argue that conceptualising volunteer recorders as data custodians rather than owners helps to understand their perspective on data sharing, and emphasize the importance of clear and transparent data policy that respects volunteers’ views on their data.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1391-z
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Invasive Prosopis juliflora replacing the Native Floral Community over
           three decades: a case study of a World Heritage Site, Keoladeo National
           Park, India
    • Authors: Aditi Mukherjee; Avadhoot Dilip Velankar; Honnavalli Nagaraj Kumara
      Pages: 2839 - 2856
      Abstract: Abstract A biodiversity assessment of any region is a fundamental necessity towards implementing an efficient conservation action plan. The alteration of habitat and vegetation composition through the successful invasion of non-indigenous species can be a serious management issue. The most prominent threat resulting in a rapid decline of native plant communities is the competition and indirect effects of alien plant species. In this study, we aim to assess the spread of invasive Prosopis juliflora and its consequences on the native flora over a span of three decades in Keoladeo National Park, India. The community structure was assessed by gridding the entire park with quadrates laid systematically. We recorded a total of 7179 individual plants, of which 3667 individuals were woody trees representing 26 species and 3512 individuals were shrubs belonging to 25 species. The invasive P. juliflora represented a maximum number of individuals among both trees (n = 957) and shrubs (n = 1560), and appears to be the dominant shrub species (IVI-74.96; SDI-0.14). The spatial comparison of species dominance (1985–2015) showed a significant increase in the dominance of P. juliflora (Z = 5.14, p < 0.00), replacing the dominant native species, including Acacia nilotica, Mitragyna parvifolia, Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Salvadora persica and Ziziphus mauritiana. The classified images also confirm an increase in spatial extent of both pure stands of invasive P. juliflora (from 4.02 to 16.46%) and open scrub dominant with P. juliflora thickets (from 2.16 to 50.94%). The article also discusses possible reasons of the high invasibility of P. juliflora, particularly its high allelopathic (inhibition) effect and highlights conservation management issues in the region. These issues deserve careful consideration to help safeguard the entire ecosystem of this world heritage site.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1392-y
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • A framework for the classification Chilean terrestrial ecosystems as a
           tool for achieving global conservation targets
    • Authors: Karina Martínez-Tilleria; Mariela Núñez-Ávila; Carolina A. León; Patricio Pliscoff; Francisco A. Squeo; Juan J. Armesto
      Pages: 2857 - 2876
      Abstract: Abstract Countries that are signatories of the Convention of Biological Diversity are committed to the goal of protecting 17% of their natural ecosystems by 2020. The lack of an up-to-date, operational classification and cartography of regional ecosystems seriously limits the assessment of progress towards this goal. Here, we present a broad ecosystem framework, which combines land use, functional traits of dominant plant species, and climatic factors for the classification of terrestrial ecosystems and apply this framework to classify Chilean terrestrial ecosystems. This new classification is consistent with the recently proposed IUCN framework to assess ecosystem conservation status. Using this framework, we identified and described 30 Chilean terrestrial ecosystems, including land units of natural and anthropogenic origin. We also provide a cartographic representation of ecosystems for land planning purposes and an overall assessment of their conservation status. We evaluated the representation of the 30 ecosystems in the Chilean National System of Protected Areas (NSPA) and in Private Protected Areas (PPA), identifying 15 ecosystems underrepresented (below the 17% target) in the NSPA, in contrast to only 11 when the area of NSPA+PPA was considered. The proposed classification can be broadly applicable to assess the conservation status of ecosystems elsewhere, using similar conceptual and methodological tools. The development of functional ecosystem classifications for different countries must be encouraged to facilitate monitoring of global conservation targets.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1393-x
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Herpetofaunal responses to anthropogenic forest habitat modification
           across the neotropics: insights from partitioning β-diversity
    • Authors: Ana Filipa Palmeirim; Marcus Vinícius Vieira; Carlos A. Peres
      Pages: 2877 - 2891
      Abstract: Abstract Habitat change is the primary cause of biodiversity loss worldwide. Large tracks of primary forest can be (1) degraded by human-induced disturbance to the point of total conversion into alternative non-forest land-use types, or (2) reduced into small forest fragments isolated within an anthropogenic matrix. Such disturbed habitats are further prone to be colonized by disturbance-adapted species, which can offset species extinctions therein. Here we investigate amphibian and lizard responses to different degrees of habitat degradation and fragmentation, in terms of both species richness and composition, across the neotropics. We then partitioned the β-diversity into its species replacement and richness-difference components to further examine changes in amphibian and lizard species composition. Based on a comprehensive compilation of 67 studies, we observed increasing rates of amphibian and lizard species loss, particularly along the habitat degradation gradient. There were considerable shifts in species composition for both taxa at human-disturbed sites, which were compounded by species replacements. Novel environmental features of disturbed sites clearly benefited synanthropic generalists at the expense of strict forest habitat specialists. As such, we recommend avoiding the use of species richness as a single metric in evaluating the effects of habitat disturbance on biodiversity. Our findings further highlight the critical importance of retaining large expanses of relatively undisturbed forest within anthropogenic landscapes to prevent pervasive species losses and changes in community structure.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1394-9
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Wood-inhabiting bryophyte communities are influenced by different
           management intensities in the past
    • Authors: M. Táborská; J. Procházková; A. Lengyel; T. Vrška; L. Hort; P. Ódor
      Pages: 2893 - 2909
      Abstract: Abstract Many studies have underlined the fact that once forest continuity is broken, communities of wood-inhabiting organisms may never be restored to their original status. However, only a few studies have actually presented results from sites that have current old-growth structure, and where the history of human interventions is known. In this study we compared the species richness, nestedness, beta diversity, and composition of bryophytes from living trunks and dead logs of beech (Fagus sylvatica) in seven forest stands in the Czech Republic with old-growth structure and various histories of past human impact. Our analysis showed that these communities are nested and that their beta diversity is lower than random. There was a significant proportion of shared species, and rare species were present only in the most heterogeneous and the least man affected habitats. We found that bryophyte communities of forests with more intensive past management were significantly impoverished in terms of both species richness and composition. Beta diversity was not related to management history and reflected current habitat heterogeneity. The effect of decay stage on species richness and beta diversity was stronger than the site effect. Our results demonstrate that the protection of current natural beech-dominated forests and improvements to their connectivity in fragmented landscapes are crucial for the survival and restoration of the diversity of wood-inhabiting bryophytes.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1395-8
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Global plight of native temperate grasslands: going, going, gone'
    • Authors: Clinton Carbutt; William D. Henwood; Louise A. Gilfedder
      Pages: 2911 - 2932
      Abstract: Abstract The indelible imprint of humanity is credited for the major degradation of natural systems worldwide. Nowhere are the transforming qualities of mankind more apparent than in the native temperate grassland regions of the world. Formerly occupying some 9 million km2, or 8% of the planet’s terrestrial surface, native temperate grasslands have been reduced to vestiges of their former glory. Only 4.6% are conserved globally within protected areas—a testament to being the least protected and the most extensively transformed of the world’s terrestrial biomes. The aim of this paper is to continue promoting the conservation value of native temperate grasslands, and reiterate the need for further protection and sustainable management before further losses and inadequate protection undermine ecological integrity any further. A new strategic direction is presented for the next decade, underpinned by ten key focus areas. The most realistic opportunities to improve protection lie in central, eastern and western Asia where landscape-scale tracts of native temperate grassland remain in reasonable condition. Such a course necessitates a strong reliance on integrating sustainable use and conservation by promoting concepts such as Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas as legitimate and recognized forms of protected areas. Here the conservation value of working rangeland landscapes utilised by nomadic pastoralists comes to the fore. The naive and short-sighted approach to viewing native temperate grasslands merely as a palette for transformation and intensive utilisation should be weighed more objectively against an understanding of the myriad benefits they provide.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1398-5
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Detecting long-term occupancy changes in Californian odonates from natural
           history and citizen science records
    • Authors: G. Rapacciuolo; J. E. Ball-Damerow; A. R. Zeilinger; V. H. Resh
      Pages: 2933 - 2949
      Abstract: Abstract In a world of rapid environmental change, effective biodiversity conservation and management relies on our ability to detect changes in species occurrence. While long-term, standardized monitoring is ideal for detecting change, such monitoring is costly and rare. An alternative approach is to use historical records from natural history collections as a baseline to compare with recent observations. Here, we combine natural history collection data with citizen science observations within a hierarchical Bayesian occupancy modeling framework to identify changes in the occupancy of Californian dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) over the past century. We model changes in the probability of occupancy of 34 odonate species across years and as a function of climate, after correcting for likely variation in detection probability using proxies for recorder effort and seasonal variation. We then examine whether biological traits can help explain variation in temporal trends. Models built using only opportunistic records identify significant changes in occupancy across years for 14 species, with eight of those showing significant declines and six showing significant increases in occupancy in the period 1900–2013. These changes are consistent with estimates obtained using more standardized resurvey data, regardless of whether resurvey data are used individually or in conjunction with the opportunistic dataset. We find that species increasing in occupancy over time are also those whose occupancy tends to increase with higher minimum temperatures, which suggests that these species may be benefiting from increasing temperatures across California. Furthermore, these species are also mostly habitat generalists, whilst a number of habitat specialists display some of the largest declines in occupancy across years. Our approach enables more robust estimates of temporal trends from opportunistic specimen and observation data, thus facilitating the use of these data in biodiversity conservation and management.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1399-4
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Will the same ex situ protocols give similar results for closely related
    • Authors: M. Patrick Griffith; Michael Calonje; Alan W. Meerow; Javier Francisco-Ortega; Lindy Knowles; Rudy Aguilar; Freddy Tut; Vanessa Sánchez; Abby Meyer; Larry R. Noblick; Tracy M. Magellan
      Pages: 2951 - 2966
      Abstract: Abstract Conservation of imperiled plant species often requires ex situ (offsite) living collections. Protocols for developing these collections most often emphasize sampling depth, but little is known about the genetics of such collections. This study compares how well a single collecting protocol can capture the diversity in wild populations of two closely related species. We selected two exemplar species, bay rush (Zamia lucayana) and sinkhole cycad (Zamia decumbens), based on similarities and differences that allow for rigorous comparison, including geographic isolation and reproductive factors. For each species, we compared in situ plants to ex situ plants via the same panel of 10 microsatellite markers. Genetic distance analysis shows high fidelity of the ex situ collections to their in situ source populations and sub-populations. Structured resampling of allele capture from the in situ populations by the ex situ collections shows that allele capture increases as number of ex situ plants maintained increases, but with a diminishing rate of increase. Difference in the rate of allele capture between the two species was significant at the α = 0.1 level, (p = 0.097) but not at the α = 0.05 level. At larger collection sizes, the difference in rate of allele capture showed a high practical significance (d = 5.41). These data illustrate that a unified collecting protocol can achieve similar allele capture among related species, but also that geographic and reproductive factors can influence the rate of allele capture.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1400-2
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • An operational definition of essential biodiversity variables
    • Authors: Dirk S. Schmeller; Jean-Baptiste Mihoub; Anne Bowser; Christos Arvanitidis; Mark J. Costello; Miguel Fernandez; Gary N. Geller; Donald Hobern; W. Daniel Kissling; Eugenie Regan; Hannu Saarenmaa; Eren Turak; Nick J. B. Isaac
      Pages: 2967 - 2972
      Abstract: Abstract The concept of essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) was proposed in 2013 to improve harmonization of biodiversity data into meaningful metrics. EBVs were conceived as a small set of variables which collectively capture biodiversity change at multiple spatial scales and within time intervals that are of scientific and management interest. Despite the apparent simplicity of the concept, a plethora of variables that describes not only biodiversity but also any environmental features have been proposed as potential EBV (i.e. candidate EBV). The proliferation of candidates reflects a lack of clarity on what may constitute a variable that is essential to track biodiversity change, which hampers the operationalization of EBVs and therefore needs to be urgently addressed. Here, we propose that an EBV should be defined as a biological state variable in three key dimensions (time, space, and biological organization) that is critical to accurately document biodiversity change.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1386-9
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Communication of flagship species in conservation: lessons from invasive
           management projects
    • Authors: Yolanda Melero
      Pages: 2973 - 2978
      Abstract: Abstract With the increase of public awareness and of their involvement in conservation projects, flagship species have become a common tool to appeal to people’s interest. Yet, the effectiveness of this approach depends on the proper communication of the importance of conserving these species. Using two projects aiming to control the invasive American mink, I illustrate how communication could positively or negatively affect the involvement of the public, and consequently the success of the projects. The Scottish mink control project managed to increase the number of volunteers involved by adapting the selection of flagship species and their communication to the public needs. Meanwhile, the Spanish project, while no volunteers are involved yet, has increased the public awareness using the European mink as native flagship species. However, as its nativeness remains unconfirmed I suggest there is a high risk of potential miscommunication with the public that can negatively impact their perception.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1389-6
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Wildlife markets in the presence of laundering: a comment
    • Authors: Brendan Moyle
      Pages: 2979 - 2985
      Abstract: Abstract Bans on the trade in wildlife are advocated as means to reduce poaching and the illegal sales of wildlife products. One of the rationales for such bans is to prevent laundering. Laundering occurs when illegal wildlife products are passed off as legal, and sold in legal outlets. Nonetheless, wildlife trade has also reduced poaching for other species via competition from legal traders against illegal. These opposing laundering and competition effects are reconciled in a general trade model. This shows that there is a trade-off between laundering and competition, leading to a legal market whose size optimises these two effects. Where illegal sales are occurring largely outside the legal market, trade bans have limited effect. Bans are most effective when the scale of laundering dominates all other trade.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1396-7
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Contrasting bobcat values
    • Authors: L. Mark Elbroch; Lisa Robertson; Kristin Combs; Jenny Fitzgerald
      Pages: 2987 - 2992
      Abstract: Abstract Ecotourism enhances conservation management, promotes non-consumptive use of wildlife, and increases local community resources over that of select individuals when compared with consumptive uses such as hunting or trapping. The bobcat is a cryptic mesocarnivore widely exploited for pelts across North America, and a species increasingly contributing to ecotourism. Here, we report a conservative, non-consumptive economic value of US$308,105 for a single bobcat in Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming for the 2015–2016 winter season, a figure nearly 1000 times greater than exploitive values of US$315.17 per bobcat trapped or hunted in Wyoming in the same season (US$130.53 per bobcat harvested in revenue earned by the state of Wyoming in trapping license sales + US$184.64 per pelt sold by successful trappers and hunters). In 2016, tourism was the second largest industry in Wyoming and generated US$3.2 billion. Our case study emphasizes that current bobcat regulatory policies across North America do not reflect current cultural values, inclusive of both consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife. Therefore, we recommend range-wide regulatory changes to ensure bobcat management is not just sustainable in terms of harvest, but that all people have access to shared resources held in trust.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1397-6
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Measuring biodiversity in the Anthropocene: a simple guide to helpful
    • Authors: Claudia E. Moreno; Jaime M. Calderón-Patrón; Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez; Felipe Barragán; Federico Escobar; Yuriana Gómez-Ortiz; Natalia Martín-Regalado; Ana P. Martínez-Falcón; Miguel Ángel Martínez-Morales; Eduardo Mendoza; Ilse J. Ortega-Martínez; Cisteil X. Pérez-Hernández; Eduardo Pineda; Rubén Pineda-López; C. Lucero Rios-Díaz; Pilar Rodríguez; Fernando Rosas; Jorge E. Schondube; Iriana Zuria
      Pages: 2993 - 2998
      Abstract: Abstract Quantifying biodiversity patterns in the context of human-caused environmental degradation is a fundamental task to improve conservation strategies; yet, it can be difficult given the rapid increase of available analytical methods. To guide studies on the topic, in this brief essay we present four approaches, accompanied by empirical examples, that can be used to accurately assess the impact of human activities on different facets of biological diversity. Such approaches include: (1) measurement of alpha diversity by incorporating interpolation-extrapolation techniques, Hill numbers and rank-abundance graphs; (2) beta diversity and its components of turnover and richness differences due to nestedness; (3) functional diversity, and (4) phylogenetic diversity. We highlight that a critical assessment, understanding and appropriate application of these and other emerging concepts and methods to assess biodiversity is needed to support both theoretical and applied studies, especially in biological conservation.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1401-1
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Passive acoustic monitoring as a complementary strategy to assess
           biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazonia
    • Authors: José Wagner Ribeiro; Larissa Sayuri Moreira Sugai; Marconi Campos-Cerqueira
      Pages: 2999 - 3002
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1390-0
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): an alarming threat to the
           biodiversity of Northern Pakistan
    • Authors: Ghulam Nabi; Suliman Khan; Shahid Ahmad; Ahsan Khan; Rabeea Siddique
      Pages: 3003 - 3004
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1402-0
      Issue No: Vol. 26, No. 12 (2017)
  • Bellwether of the Canaries: anthropogenic effects on the land snail fauna
           of the Canary Islands
    • Authors: Alexander F. Wall; Yurena Yanes; Joshua H. Miller; Arnold I. Miller
      Abstract: Abstract Natural areas near human-modified landscapes experience factors that may affect local biodiversity at levels commensurate with natural environmental factors. The land snails of the Canary Islands provide excellent opportunities to evaluate the importance of anthropogenic agents in mediating the diversity and distribution of species. Land snails are particularly sensitive to disturbance and are an integral part of terrestrial ecosystems. This study analyzed the distributions and abundances of terrestrial macrosnail shell assemblages at 60 localities throughout the coastal scrub biome of the Canary Islands. This was accomplished using data on natural and anthropogenic variables to assess their relative importance in governing land snail diversity. A total of 34,801 dead shells represented a diverse malacofauna with highly localized endemism. Due to uncertain species identifications, samples from the 18 sites from the two easternmost islands are described, but excluded from statistical analyses. Regression tree analysis indicated that proximity to agricultural sites was the most important predictor of species diversity. Sites with no or very little agricultural area (≤ 0.167 km2) within a 1 km radius had significantly higher richness and diversity. These results have implications for Canary Islands conservation. Protected areas that are patchworks of natural and agricultural landscapes are still subject to native biodiversity loss because of anthropogenic impacts even when the footprint of agriculture is small.
      PubDate: 2017-10-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1443-4
  • Settlement pattern of tortoises translocated into the wild: a key to
           evaluate population reinforcement success
    • Authors: Fabien Pille; Sébastien Caron; Xavier Bonnet; Simon Deleuze; Delphine Busson; Thomas Etien; Florent Girard; Jean-Marie Ballouard
      Abstract: Abstract A lack of long-term monitoring often impedes the evaluation of translocation used to reinforce populations. Crucial questions regarding the exact timing and place of possible settlement remain unanswered. To examine these issues we radio-tracked during three years 24 tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni) released to reinforce a resident population impacted by fire. Individuals from the resident population (N = 20) and from a distant control population (N = 11) were also radio-tracked. More than 11,000 fixes were collected, enabling us to precisely describe movement patterns. Most translocated tortoises first dispersed (> 500 m to > 3000 m away) in a random direction and sometimes crossed unfavorable areas. Later, a marked shift in movement pattern, from a relatively unidirectional course to multidirectional displacements indicated settlement. Movement patterns of translocated and resident individuals became undistinguishable after settlement. Most individuals settled during the first year after release but several settled in the second year. Mean annual survival rate (> 85%) remained within the range of the species but was lower compared to the resident (93%) and control tortoises (100%). Overall, most translocated individuals (~ 63%) settled and adapted well to their novel environment. This result is essential regarding current controversies that are unfounded and that limit conservation translocations. Yet, translocation sites should be large enough and/or surrounded by secondary favorable areas to limit the mortality associated with dispersal in hazardous environments. Large numbers of individuals rescued during urbanization works may easily supply conservation translocations to reinforce fragile populations.
      PubDate: 2017-10-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s10531-017-1445-2
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