Journal Cover Biological Conservation
  [SJR: 2.593]   [H-I: 138]   [271 followers]  Follow
    
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0006-3207
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3048 journals]
  • Habitat diversity and connectivity govern the conservation value of
           restored aquatic floodplain habitats
    • Authors: Joachim Pander; Melanie Mueller; Juergen Geist
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Joachim Pander, Melanie Mueller, Juergen Geist
      Floodplains have been strongly altered by human activities such as channelization and other river regulations. Globally, there is a growing interest in their restoration because of an increasing understanding of the ecological importance of these habitats for feeding, spawning, nursery or overwintering of aquatic species. In this study, a large floodplain restoration project of the upper Danube River was used to investigate colonization and succession patterns of fish, macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and periphyton in relation to abiotic habitat variables that can be restored through ecosystem management. Highest species diversity was detected near the contact zones of the floodplain channel to the main stem of the Danube, and in the transition zones of river sections (RS) and oxbow lakes (OS). The highest proportions of all taxa (82%) and of distinctive species (22%) were detected in RS, followed by OS (66% of all taxa, 8% distinctive species) and floodplain ponds (FP, 47% of all taxa, 5% distinctive species). The habitat types RS, OS and FP significantly differed in overall community composition and their colonization processes comprising fast colonization of current-adapted specialists in RS, and mostly generalist species in OS and FP. Our results indicate that restoration of floodplain habitats should not only consider the re-establishment of maximum connectivity, but also provide a mosaic of distinct habitat types with different degrees of connectivity and disturbance. Each habitat type in the floodplain supported a unique assemblage of species, which suggests that such habitat mosaics can facilitate exceptionally diverse ecosystems.

      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.024
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Sharks, rays and abortion: The prevalence of capture-induced parturition
           in elasmobranchs
    • Authors: Kye R. Adams; Lachlan C. Fetterplace; Andrew R. Davis; Matthew D. Taylor; Nathan A. Knott
      Pages: 11 - 27
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Kye R. Adams, Lachlan C. Fetterplace, Andrew R. Davis, Matthew D. Taylor, Nathan A. Knott
      The direct impacts of fishing on chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and chimeras) are well established. Here we review a largely unreported, often misinterpreted and poorly understood indirect impact of fishing on these animals — capture-induced parturition (either premature birth or abortion). Although direct mortality of discarded sharks and rays has been estimated, the prevalence of abortion/premature birth and subsequent generational mortality remains largely unstudied. We synthesize a diffuse body of literature to reveal that a conservative estimate of >12% of live bearing elasmobranchs (n=88 species) show capture-induced parturition. For those species with adequate data, we estimate capture-induced parturition events ranging from 2 to 85% of pregnant females (average 24%). To date, capture-induced parturition has only been observed in live-bearing species. We compile data on threat-levels, method of capture, reproductive mode and gestation extent of premature/aborted embryos. We also utilise social media to identify 41 social-media links depicting a capture-induced parturition event which provide supplementary visual evidence for the phenomenon. The mortality of embryos will have implications for elasmobranch populations, and there are limited options to deal with this problem. This review is the first to synthesize available data on capture-induced parturition in sharks and rays, and highlights an important ethical and management issue for fishers and managers deserving of much greater attention.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.010
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Where are commodity crops certified, and what does it mean for
           conservation and poverty alleviation'
    • Authors: Catherine Tayleur; Andrew Balmford; Graeme M. Buchanan; Stuart H.M. Butchart; Christine Corlet Walker; Heather Ducharme; Rhys E. Green; Jeffrey C. Milder; Fiona J. Sanderson; David H.L. Thomas; Lukasz Tracewski; Juliet Vickery; Ben Phalan
      Pages: 36 - 46
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Catherine Tayleur, Andrew Balmford, Graeme M. Buchanan, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Christine Corlet Walker, Heather Ducharme, Rhys E. Green, Jeffrey C. Milder, Fiona J. Sanderson, David H.L. Thomas, Lukasz Tracewski, Juliet Vickery, Ben Phalan
      Voluntary sustainability standards have expanded dramatically over the last decade. In the agricultural sector, such standards aim to ensure environmentally and socially sustainable production of a variety of commodity crops. However, little is known about where agricultural certification operates and whether certified lands are best located for conserving the world's most important biodiversity and benefiting the most vulnerable producers. To examine these questions we developed the first global map of commodity crop certification, synthesizing data from over one million farms to reveal the distribution of certification in unprecedented detail. It highlights both geographical clusters of certification as well as spatial bias in the location of certification with respect to environmental, livelihood and physical variables. Excluding organic certification, for which spatial data were not available, most certification of commodity crops is in tropical regions. Certification appears to be concentrated in areas important for biodiversity conservation, but not in those areas most in need of poverty alleviation, although there were exceptions to each of these patterns. We argue that the impact of sustainability standards could be increased by identifying places where it would be most beneficial to strengthen, consolidate, and expand certification. To achieve this, standards organizations will need to undertake more rigorous collection of spatial data, and more detailed analysis of their existing reach and impacts, with attention to potential trade-offs between different objectives. Efforts to promote spatial prioritization will require new partnerships to align specific conservation aims with the interests and capabilities of farmers.

      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.024
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Patterns and causes of oviposition in monarch butterflies: Implications
           for milkweed restoration
    • Authors: Grace M. Pitman; D.T. Tyler Flockhart; D. Ryan Norris
      Pages: 54 - 65
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Grace M. Pitman, D.T. Tyler Flockhart, D. Ryan Norris
      Effective habitat restoration requires an understanding of species habitat preferences and the associated mechanisms driving those preferences. We examined the patterns and causes of oviposition preference in the monarch butterfly, a rapidly declining species, in southwestern Ontario at both landscape and milkweed patch spatial scales. Additionally, we measured the abundance of invertebrate predators, parasitoids and parasites across these same spatial scales. Oviposition preference was dependent on both the size of the milkweed patch and the density of milkweed within the patch, as well as landscape type. Small (<16m2), low-density (0.1–2 milkweed per m2) milkweed patches in agricultural landscape had the highest egg density compared to all types of milkweed patches in non-agricultural and roadside landscapes. Medium-sized patches had the highest predator abundance. Variation in the abundance of parasitoids, and occurrence of parasites of monarch eggs and larvae did not appear to coincide with preferred egg laying habitats. Our results suggest that investing heavily in milkweed restoration in roadside habitats should be done cautiously. Instead, a better strategy may be for managers to develop incentive programs with landowners to plant and maintain milkweeds in agricultural landscapes, which could complement other pollinator initiatives or ecosystem service programs in agricultural landscapes that focus on increasing nectar availability. Our results have important implications for restoring milkweed as an approach to counteract monarch butterflies declines.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.019
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Common bats are more abundant within Natura 2000 areas
    • Authors: Christian Kerbiriou; Clémentine Azam; Julien Touroult; Julie Marmet; Jean-François Julien; Vincent Pellissier
      Pages: 66 - 74
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Christian Kerbiriou, Clémentine Azam, Julien Touroult, Julie Marmet, Jean-François Julien, Vincent Pellissier
      The Natura 2000 network is the largest conservation effort in Europe. However, despite the known importance of conserving common and widespread biodiversity, criteria used to designate a Natura 2000 site are oriented toward rare and/or emblematic biodiversity. In this study, we took advantage of the fact that the management of Natura 2000 is just beginning to assess whether the five most common bat (Chiroptera) species and one genus in France exhibit a greater relative abundance within rather than outside Natura 2000 boundaries, and three bats communities index: total relative abundance, species richness, Community Habitat specialization index. We model the relative abundance of each taxa and indices using data from a nationwide volunteer-based acoustic survey. We found that three of the six taxa studied exhibit greater relative abundance within Natura 2000 sites (this increase is noteworthy for E. serotinus (×2.1) and Myotis ssp. (×3.6)). We also provide evidence that total relative abundance of bat activity and richness are globally higher in Natura 2000 sites (respectively +24% and +14%) and on average communities are more specialized within Natura 2000 sites. In addition, when the effect of Natura 2000 is adjusted to the main land use types, a significant positive effect of Natura 2000 remains for most metrics. The positive Natura 2000 effect appears relatively small compared to the main land use pressure: intensive agriculture and artificial light at night. However, Natura 2000 has a comparable sized effect as habitat widely recognized as having a positive impact on bats, such as streams.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.029
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Robust estimation of snare prevalence within a tropical forest context
           using N-mixture models
    • Authors: Hannah J. O'Kelly; J. Marcus Rowcliffe; Sarah M. Durant; E.J. Milner-Gulland
      Pages: 75 - 82
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Hannah J. O'Kelly, J. Marcus Rowcliffe, Sarah M. Durant, E.J. Milner-Gulland
      Hunting with snares is indiscriminate and wasteful, and this practice is currently one of the gravest threats to terrestrial vertebrates in the tropics. However, as snares are difficult to detect and often dispersed widely across large, inaccessible areas it is problematic to reliably estimate their prevalence and no standard survey methods exist. Conservation managers need reliable, timely, information on the spatio-temporal patterns of hunting and on responses to interventions, and we present an innovative sampling and analysis framework that allows for the rigorous estimation of snare detectability and ‘abundance’, but which can be feasibly implemented in challenging field contexts. This new approach was used to undertake a large-scale systematic snare survey in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, in Eastern Cambodia, and the resulting data were analysed using a novel application of N-mixture models. A range of environmental and management factors were examined as potential determinants of snare abundance and detectability, and proximity to the Vietnamese border was shown to be overwhelmingly the most influential factor. Snares were more common in the wet season rather than the dry season, and the detection probability of snares was shown to be low (~0.33), as predicted. No clear relationships between snaring levels, anti-poaching patrol effort and ungulate densities were evident from these data. There was clear evidence that certain factors, such as the percentage of dense forest cover, will exert confounding effects on both detectability and abundance, highlighting the critical need to take account of the imperfect detection when designing threat monitoring systems.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.007
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • The albatross of assessing and managing risk for long-lived pelagic
           seabirds
    • Authors: Victoria J. Bakker; Myra E. Finkelstein; Daniel F. Doak; Eric A. VanderWerf; Lindsay C. Young; Javier A. Arata; Paul R. Sievert; Cynthia Vanderlip
      Pages: 83 - 95
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Victoria J. Bakker, Myra E. Finkelstein, Daniel F. Doak, Eric A. VanderWerf, Lindsay C. Young, Javier A. Arata, Paul R. Sievert, Cynthia Vanderlip
      Pelagic predators such as albatross have long been of conservation concern, but assessing their status poses numerous challenges. A standard monitoring method for albatross is colony-based nest counts to track numbers of breeders. However, a variable proportion of the population skips breeding in any given year and cannot be quantified by nest counts, creating several complications to efforts in understanding population dynamics. We used stochastic demographic matrix models for black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan (P. immutabilis) albatross to investigate: i) the potential for the skipping behavior of breeders to create apparent density dependence in nest counts, ii) the limitations to assessing population trends from nest counts and implications for evaluating impacts from fisheries bycatch, including calculating Potential Biological Removal values, and iii) the relative importance of at-sea versus on-island threats to population viability. We found the increased likelihood of these albatrosses skipping breeding following a successful season – a feature common to many seabirds and other taxa – results in substantial negative temporal auto-correlation in the observable population that can be misinterpreted as negative density dependence, with important implications for inferences about population viability. Black-footed albatross appear limited by fisheries bycatch, while Laysan albatross, which have low estimated bycatch mortality, are currently at greater risk from island-based threats. Our results suggest a cautionary approach to managing black-footed and Laysan albatross should be adopted because detecting population declines from nest counts could take decades. Ultimately, we highlight the inherent difficulties in assessing population status and trends in long-lived species such as albatross.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.022
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of local- and regional-scale wildlife
           corridors using quantitative metrics of functional connectivity
    • Authors: R. Naidoo; J.W. Kilian; P. Du Preez; P. Beytell; O. Aschenborn; R.D. Taylor; G. Stuart-Hill
      Pages: 96 - 103
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): R. Naidoo, J.W. Kilian, P. Du Preez, P. Beytell, O. Aschenborn, R.D. Taylor, G. Stuart-Hill
      While corridors in conservation have a long history of use, evaluations of proposed or existing corridors in conservation landscapes are important to avoid the same fate as poorly-functioning “paper parks”. We used resistance surface modeling and circuit theory to evaluate a number of corridors developed at regional and at local scales that aim to improve connectivity for large wildlife in the central part of the Kavango-Zambezi transfrontier conservation area. We used hourly GPS data from 16 collared African elephants (Loxodonta africana), and associated environmental data at used versus available movement paths, to develop a hierarchical Bayesian path selection function model. We used the resulting resistance surface across the study area as an input into circuit theory modeling to assess how well connectivity levels were captured by both types of corridors relative to several alternative scenarios. We found that the majority of regional-scale corridors performed relatively well at capturing elevated levels of connectivity relative to non-corridor comparisons, with 7 of 9 corridors rated as good or better in terms of how they captured electrical current levels (a proxy for connectivity). In contrast, only 14 of 33 smaller-scale, local corridors captured significantly higher levels of connectivity than adjacent non-corridor areas. Our results have practical implications for the design and implementation of wildlife connectivity conservation efforts in the world's largest transfrontier conservation landscape. Modern connectivity science approaches can help evaluate which proposed corridors are likely to function as intended, and which may need further refinement.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.037
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Continuous cover forestry is a cost-efficient tool to increase
           multifunctionality of boreal production forests in Fennoscandia
    • Authors: Maiju Peura; Daniel Burgas; Kyle Eyvindson; Anna Repo; Mikko Mönkkönen
      Pages: 104 - 112
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Maiju Peura, Daniel Burgas, Kyle Eyvindson, Anna Repo, Mikko Mönkkönen
      Earlier research has suggested that the diversification of silvicultural strategies is a cost-efficient tool to ensure multifunctionality in production forests. This study compared the effects of continuous cover forestry and conventional rotation forestry on ecosystem services and biodiversity in boreal forests in Finland. We simulated over 25,000 commercial forest stands for 100years under continuous cover and rotation forest management. Forests without management were used as a reference. We compared the effects of silvicultural practices over space and time on ecosystem services, biodiversity indicators and multifunctionality. Our results revealed that continuous cover forestry was better than rotation forest management in terms of timber net present value, carbon sequestration, bilberry production, scenic beauty and the number of large trees. It provided higher habitat availability for indicator species dependent on deciduous trees and mature forest structure. Rotation forest management was better than continuous cover forestry in terms of harvested tree biomass, cowberries, mushrooms, and species dependent on high tree volume. In general, multifunctionality was higher in continuous cover forests than in rotation forests. Therefore, continuous cover forests may have a greater potential to produce simultaneously multiple benefits from forests. However, unmanaged forests often provided the highest levels of services and biodiversity making their role indispensable in delivering forest related ecosystem services and, especially, in the maintenance of biodiversity. Continuous cover forestry does not itself guarantee the maintenance of all ecosystem services and biodiversity in commercial forests but it can be an important part of a successful progression towards more sustainable forestry.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.018
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • High-throughput eDNA monitoring of fungi to track functional recovery in
           ecological restoration
    • Authors: DongFeng Yan; Jacob G. Mills; Nicholas J.C. Gellie; Andrew Bissett; Andrew J. Lowe; Martin F. Breed
      Pages: 113 - 120
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): DongFeng Yan, Jacob G. Mills, Nicholas J.C. Gellie, Andrew Bissett, Andrew J. Lowe, Martin F. Breed
      Fungi are key functional components of ecosystems (e.g. decomposers, symbionts), but are rarely included in restoration monitoring programs. Many fungi occur belowground, making them difficult to observe directly, but are observable with environmental DNA (eDNA) methods. Although eDNA approaches have been proposed as ecological monitoring tools for microbial diversity, their application to restoration projects is very limited. We used eDNA metabarcoding of fungal ITS barcodes on soil collected across a 10-year restoration chronosequence to explore fungal responses to restoration. We observed a dramatic shift in the fungal community towards that of the natural fungal community after just 10 years of active native plant revegetation. Agaricomycetes and other Basidiomycota – involved in wood decay and ectomycorrhizal symbiosis – increased in rarefied sequence abundance in older restored sites. Ascomycota dominated the fungal community, but decreased in rarefied sequence abundance across the restoration chronosequence. Our results highlight eDNA metabarcoding as a useful restoration monitoring tool that allows quantification of changes in important fungal indicator groups linked with functional recovery and, being underground, are normally omitted in restoration monitoring.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.035
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Grassland connectivity in fragmented agricultural landscapes of the
           north-central United States
    • Authors: Michael C. Wimberly; Diane M. Narem; Peter J. Bauman; Benjamin T. Carlson; Marissa A. Ahlering
      Pages: 121 - 130
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Michael C. Wimberly, Diane M. Narem, Peter J. Bauman, Benjamin T. Carlson, Marissa A. Ahlering
      In the prairies of North America, remnant native grasslands are threatened by continuing agricultural extensification. Fragmentation of the remaining grassland isolates patches and limits the potential for dispersal of native species. We explored these impacts by analyzing the spatial pattern of native grassland habitats in the Prairie Coteau region of eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota, USA. Undisturbed grasslands were mapped using a GIS database of land use history combined with manual interpretation of high-resolution aerial photographs. Network analysis based on graph theory was used to examine how connectivity changed depending on the potential movement distances of organisms and to identify important patches that made large contributions to connectivity throughout the broader network. Interpatch movement was assessed using Euclidian distance as well as cost-weighted distance that assigned lower movement cost to grasslands than to human-modified land cover types. Much of the undisturbed grassland was concentrated in a single large cluster, which was connected to other habitat concentrations via corridors of “stepping stone” patches. A small number of “keystone patches”, whose loss would have a disproportionately large effect on overall connectivity, were also identified. The locations of the major corridors were relatively consistent across different movement distances. Information about patch-level importance for overall network connectivity should be taken into account when prioritizing conservation and restoration. Future studies can build on this research by conducting more detailed assessments focused on particular species of concern and portions of the study area where connectivity is most limited.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.031
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Coffee management and the conservation of forest bird diversity in
           southwestern Ethiopia
    • Authors: Patrícia Rodrigues; Girma Shumi; Ine Dorresteijn; Jannik Schultner; Jan Hanspach; Kristoffer Hylander; Feyera Senbeta; Joern Fischer
      Pages: 131 - 139
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Patrícia Rodrigues, Girma Shumi, Ine Dorresteijn, Jannik Schultner, Jan Hanspach, Kristoffer Hylander, Feyera Senbeta, Joern Fischer
      Moist evergreen forests of southwestern Ethiopia host high levels of biodiversity and have a high economic value due to coffee production. Coffee is a native shrub that is harvested under different management systems; its production can have both beneficial and detrimental effects for biodiversity. We investigated how bird community composition and richness, and abundance of different bird groups responded to different intensities of coffee management and the landscape context. We surveyed birds at 66 points in forest habitat with different intensities of coffee management and at different distances from the forest edge. We explored community composition using detrended correspondence analysis in combination with canonical correspondence analysis and indicator species analysis, and used generalized linear mixed models to investigate the responses of different bird groups to coffee management and landscape context. Our results show that (1) despite considerable bird diversity including some endemics, species turnover in the forest was relatively low; (2) total richness and abundance of birds were not affected by management or landscape context; but (3) the richness of forest and dietary specialists increased with higher forest naturalness, and with increasing distance from the edge and amount of forest cover. These findings show that traditional shade coffee management practices can maintain a diverse suite of forest birds. To conserve forest specialists, retaining undisturbed, remote forest is particularly important, but structurally diverse locations near the forest edge can also harbour a high diversity of specialists.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.036
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • “The ‘future of conservation’ debate: Defending ecocentrism and the
           Nature Needs Half movement”
    • Authors: Helen Kopnina; Haydn Washington; Joe Gray; Bron Taylor
      Pages: 140 - 148
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Helen Kopnina, Haydn Washington, Joe Gray, Bron Taylor
      The Future of Conservation survey, launched in March 2017, has proposed a framework to help with interpreting the array of ethical stances underpinning the motivations for biological conservation. In this article we highlight what is missing in this debate to date. Our overall aim is to explore what an acceptance of ecocentric ethics would mean for how conservation is practised and how its policies are developed. We start by discussing the shortcomings of the survey and present a more convincing and accurate categorization of the conservation debate. Conceiving the future of conservation as nothing less than an attempt to preserve abundant life on earth, we illustrate the strategic and ethical advantage of ecocentric over anthropocentric approaches to conservation. After examining key areas of the current debate we endorse and defend the Nature Needs Half and bio-proportionality proposals. These proposals show how the acceptance of an ecocentric framework would aid both practices and policies aimed at promoting successful conservation. We conclude that these proposals bring a radically different and more effective approach to conservation than anthropocentric approaches, even though the latter purport to be pragmatic.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.016
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Spatiotemporal response of mountain caribou to the intensity of
           backcountry skiing
    • Authors: Frédéric Lesmerises; Florent Déry; Chris J. Johnson; Martin-Hugues St-Laurent
      Pages: 149 - 156
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Frédéric Lesmerises, Florent Déry, Chris J. Johnson, Martin-Hugues St-Laurent
      Nature-based activities promote human-fauna encounters, which may be perceived as a type of predation risk. This pattern of human avoidance is well-known, but is often related to major anthropogenic disturbances. The response of animals to less intensive or ephemeral human activities, such as backcountry skiing and hiking is not well studied. Yet, these activities occur in many protected areas, where managers are trying to conserve some of the most threatened species. This is the case for the Endangered Atlantic-Gaspésie mountain caribou in the Gaspésie National Park. To assess the impact of backcountry skiing, we used GPS telemetry to monitor 20 caribou frequenting a ski area partially included in the Park. More than 12% of caribou locations were within the ski area when skiers were absent. Use of that area by caribou decreased to 6% when there were skiers. Coefficients from a resource selection function suggested that caribou avoided the ski area, and the disturbance response was modulated by the number of skiers. Caribou were not significantly displaced within the first 6h of exposure to skiers, but thereafter moved away from the ski area for ~48h to lower elevation habitats where predation from coyotes was potentially greater. Our results revealed a relatively strong disturbance response and corresponding functional loss of a possible noticeable portion of habitat as a result of backcountry skiing. Park managers should consider even small numbers of recreationists as they could have an important impact on animal distribution.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.030
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Using fossil records to inform reintroduction of the kakapo as a refugee
           species
    • Authors: Pia E. Lentini; Ingrid A. Stirnemann; Dejan Stojanovic; Trevor H. Worthy; John A. Stein
      Pages: 157 - 165
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Pia E. Lentini, Ingrid A. Stirnemann, Dejan Stojanovic, Trevor H. Worthy, John A. Stein
      Many threatened species persist only as relict populations occupying a fraction of their former distribution, in habitats which may not be optimal for supporting viable populations. Following population growth of one such species, the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), conservation managers are faced with the challenge of identifying suitable locations for reintroduction. Areas which support habitat conditions typical of those occupied by kakapo in the past have the greatest potential to support future populations. We collated occurrences of kakapo from recent fossil records, then used MaxEnt to model the past distribution of kakapo across New Zealand, and contemporary areas suitable for reintroductions based on extant habitat and present-day climate. We validated our models against three independent data sets of the most recent relict populations. Our models suggest that kakapo once occurred in mountain beech and Hall's totara or broadleaf forests with moderate to high precipitation and milder winters. Areas predicted to be environmentally suitable for kakapo in contemporary New Zealand include the west coast of the South Island, the west and north-east of the North Island and the southern side of Lake Taupo. Assuming that known threats of introduced predators can be managed, our study suggests that suitable kakapo habitat persists in New Zealand, and here we offer insight into locations for future population establishment. Given the finite carrying capacity of offshore islands, this is an important first step which will enable kakapo managers to prioritise focal areas and also highlights the benefits and potential pitfalls of using these modelling approaches for refugee species.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.027
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Stronger response of farmland birds than farmers to climate change leads
           to the emergence of an ecological trap
    • Authors: Andrea Santangeli; Aleksi Lehikoinen; Anna Bock; Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio; Lauri Jauhiainen; Marco Girardello; Jari Valkama
      Pages: 166 - 172
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Andrea Santangeli, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Anna Bock, Pirjo Peltonen-Sainio, Lauri Jauhiainen, Marco Girardello, Jari Valkama
      Climate change is triggering adaptation by people and wildlife. The speed and magnitude of these responses may disrupt ecological equilibria and potentially cause further biodiversity losses, but this has rarely been studied. Species inhabiting human-dominated landscapes may be particularly negatively affected by human adaptations to climate change. This could be, for example, the case of ground-nesting farmland birds, a group of highly vulnerable species that may be impacted by shifts in the timing of mechanical farming operations in response to climate change. Here we aim to explore whether trends in phenology of breeding ground-nesting birds differ from those of farming practices, and whether differences lead to the emergence of phenological mistiming with detrimental consequences to the birds. To achieve our objective, we ran linear mixed effects models using a 38-year dataset on onset of farming practices (i.e. sowing dates) and laying date of two endangered ground-nesting farmland birds (Northern lapwing and Eurasian curlew) in Finland. We found that timing of farming practices advanced slower than birds nesting phenology, with birds progressively starting nesting before fields are sown. These nests are at high risk of destruction from incoming sowing operations. The results highlight the importance of considering human adaptation responses, in addition to those of wildlife, for implementing species conservation in managed landscapes under climate change.

      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.002
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Localized disturbances from oil sands developments increase butterfly
           diversity and abundance in Alberta's boreal forests
    • Authors: Federico Riva; John H. Acorn; Scott E. Nielsen
      Pages: 173 - 180
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Federico Riva, John H. Acorn, Scott E. Nielsen
      Understanding species responses to changes in habitat is a primary focus of biodiversity conservation, especially when assessing widespread anthropogenic disturbance. Extraction of Alberta's subterranean oil sands by wells requires extensive networks of cleared linear disturbances (“in situ” extraction) that result in widespread, but localized increases in early seral habitats. Little is known about biodiversity responses to these disturbances, especially for invertebrates. Here, we investigated how butterflies responded to in situ oil sands developments in the boreal forests of Wood Buffalo region, Alberta, Canada. To assess the magnitude of change associated with different disturbance types, we compared abundance and diversity of butterflies in undisturbed forests with those observed in 3-m and 9-m wide cleared corridors (seismic lines), 60×60m clearings (well pads), and roadside verge habitat. The butterfly assemblage was evaluated based on disturbance type and three measures of landscape change: amount of early seral habitat, edge density, and diversity of natural habitats. Species richness was twice and abundance three-times higher in larger disturbances than in controls, with the narrowest corridors not differing from controls. A model using disturbance type, edge density, and habitat diversity explained 62% of assemblage variation, with the type of disturbance explaining 47%. Higher butterfly abundance and diversity occurred in localized early seral sites, even on 9-m wide corridors, while surrounding landscape characteristics had little effect. Results are consistent with previous studies finding stronger responses in vertebrates to larger disturbances associated with oil sands, confirming that narrower corridors mitigate the effects of oil sands exploration.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-11-16T11:17:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.022
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Low-cost strategies for protecting ecosystem services and biodiversity
    • Authors: Adriana Pellegrini Manhães; Rafael Loyola; Guilherme Gerhardt Mazzochini; Gislene Ganade; Ary Teixeira Oliveira-Filho; Adriana Rosa Carvalho
      Pages: 187 - 194
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Adriana Pellegrini Manhães, Rafael Loyola, Guilherme Gerhardt Mazzochini, Gislene Ganade, Ary Teixeira Oliveira-Filho, Adriana Rosa Carvalho
      The selection of priority areas for nature conservation must balance the costs and benefits of conserving biodiversity, protecting ecosystem services, and permitting human activities or resource use. In this study, we selected priority areas for conservation in a seasonally dry tropical forest in Brazil and analyzed changes in the protection of ecosystem services and the conservation of plant biodiversity upon excluding areas with high opportunity costs (e.g., where income would be lost if natural areas were protected) and high population density. We identified two types of protected areas: sustainable use (SU) and strict protection (SP). Plant biodiversity (181 species) and supporting services (water balance, net primary productivity, and soil fertility) were used to determine the optimal locations of both types of protected areas. Provisioning services (water supply, fodder, and genetic resources) were used to determine SU priority areas, while regulating services (water purification, carbon storage, and erosion prevention) were used to determine SP areas. The selection of lowly populated or costly areas was associated with a small decrease in the representation of biodiversity (4% loss in SP and 6% loss in SU) and a large decrease in the representation of supporting (36% loss in SP and 31% loss in SU), regulating (41% loss in SP), and provisioning services (7% loss in SU). Our results reveal that selecting priority areas with low population density and low opportunity costs would decrease the overall representation of ecosystem services in protected areas but would still improve the cost efficiency of biodiversity conservation efforts.

      PubDate: 2017-11-16T11:17:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.009
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Selecting cost-effective plant mixes to support pollinators
    • Authors: Neal M. Williams; Eric V. Lonsdorf
      Pages: 195 - 202
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Neal M. Williams, Eric V. Lonsdorf
      Growing concern about wild and managed pollinator populations has led to efforts to create floral habitat to promote bees and other pollinators, especially in agricultural lands where they make important contributions to crop pollination. These actions all require practitioners to determine what mixture of plant species to select to best support diverse and functionally important pollinators. Like in the selection of areas for nature reserves, plant choices must balance function against differences in cost. To date, plant mixes have been compiled using expert opinion based on the performance of individual species, but researchers and practitioners have called for a systematic approach to optimize mixtures. We applied a decision analytic approach to select best flowering mixes to meet two specified objectives at the least cost: maximizing total bee richness or maximizing crop-pollinating bees. The model identified best plant mixes for each objective across a range of budgets. Accounting for the variation in costs among plant species allowed for substantially more cost effective mixes with little loss in achieving the target objective. Including multiple objectives simultaneously revealed the power of the approach to meet complex goals. The resulting mix supported over 96% of the bee species for both goals at no difference in cost. This gain in efficiency could dramatically increase the extent of habitat implemented and remove financial barriers to adoption by stakeholders and conservation practitioners.

      PubDate: 2017-11-16T11:17:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.032
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • The wild origin dilemma
    • Authors: Amy Hinsley; David L. Roberts
      Pages: 203 - 206
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Amy Hinsley, David L. Roberts
      The sustainable production and trade of plants, animals, and their products, including through artificial propagation and captive breeding, is an important strategy to supply the global wildlife market, particularly when the trade in wild specimens is restricted by CITES or other wildlife trade legislation. However, these production methods can become a potential mechanism for the laundering of material illegally collected from the wild, leading to recent calls for the development of traceability methods to determine the origin of traded products. Currently, identifying wild origin can be complex and may require expert knowledge and/or resource intensive molecular techniques. Here we show, using CITES Appendix I slipper orchids as a model system, that production times can be used as a threshold to identify plants in trade that have a high likelihood of being of wild origin. We suggest that this framework could be used by enforcement officers, online vendors, and others to flag material of potential concern for orchids and other high value plants in trade. Specifically, this knowledge combined with nomenclature and the list of CITES Trade Database species could be used to construct a species watch list and automate online searches. The results suggest that had this been applied, questions would have been raised regarding online sales of three recently described species.

      PubDate: 2017-11-16T11:17:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.011
      Issue No: Vol. 217 (2017)
       
  • Compilation and traits of Australian bird species killed by cats
    • Authors: J.C.Z. Woinarski; L.A. Woolley; S.T. Garnett; S.M. Legge; B.P. Murphy; M.J. Lawes; S. Comer; C.R. Dickman; T.S. Doherty; G. Edwards; A. Nankivill; R. Palmer; D. Paton
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): J.C.Z. Woinarski, L.A. Woolley, S.T. Garnett, S.M. Legge, B.P. Murphy, M.J. Lawes, S. Comer, C.R. Dickman, T.S. Doherty, G. Edwards, A. Nankivill, R. Palmer, D. Paton
      House cats Felis catus have contributed to the extinction of many bird species on islands, but their impact on continental bird faunas is less well resolved. Here, we compile and analyse a comprehensive record of all bird species known to be killed by feral cats at a continental scale. From published studies and unpublished data, we document predation by feral and pet cats on 357 bird species in Australia, including 338 Australian (non-vagrant) native bird species (=45.6% of the 741 Australian native bird species, excluding vagrants). This tally included 24 species listed as threatened or extinct by the IUCN (40% of the 58 non-vagrant Australian species listed as threatened), and 71 of the 117 bird species (61%) listed as threatened under Australian legislation (or species with one or more subspecies so listed). These tallies are substantially larger than reported in previous reviews. We provide the first continental-scale attempt to model bird species' traits that are associated with likelihood of being killed by cats, and use such modelling to attempt to redress some inevitable biases in compilation of predation records on birds. We conclude that the likelihood of being killed by a cat was highest for bird species that are restricted to islands, are of intermediate body mass (ca. 60–300g), and nest and forage on the ground, and least likely for bird species occurring mostly in rainforests and wetlands. We also identify a set of bird species most likely to be threatened by cat-predation and hence most likely to benefit from enhanced management of cats. This study does not specifically evaluate the impact of cats on bird populations or on the conservation of Australian birds, but our results suggest that such impact may be much more pervasive than previously documented.

      PubDate: 2017-10-04T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.017
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Free-ranging livestock threaten the long-term survival of giant pandas
    • Authors: Binbin V. Li; Stuart L. Pimm; Sheng Li; Lianjun Zhao; Chunping Luo
      Pages: 18 - 25
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Binbin V. Li, Stuart L. Pimm, Sheng Li, Lianjun Zhao, Chunping Luo
      China has implemented forest policies and expanded protected areas to halt deforestation and protect giant panda habitats. These policies simultaneously encouraged local communities to raise livestock that then freely range in forests. This grazing had unintended consequences. As an alternative livelihood, it has become the most prevalent human disturbance across the panda's range. How do free-ranging livestock impact giant panda habitats and what are the implications for future conservation and policy on a larger scale' We use Wanglang National Nature Reserve as a case study. It has seen a nine-fold livestock increase during past 15years. We combined bamboo survey plots, GPS collar tracking, long-term monitoring, and species distribution modelling incorporating species interaction to understand the impacts across spatial and temporal scales. Our results showed that livestock, especially horses, lead to a significant reduction of bamboo biomass and regeneration. The most intensively used areas by livestock are in the valleys, which are also the areas that pandas prefer. Adding livestock presence to predictive models of the giant panda's distribution yielded a higher accuracy and suggested livestock reduce panda habitat by 34%. Pandas were driven out of the areas intensively used by livestock. We recommend the nature reserve carefully implement a livestock ban and prioritise removing horses because they cause the greater harm. To give up livestock, local communities prefer long-term subsidies or jobs to a one-time payment. Thus, we recommend the government provide payments for ecosystem services that create jobs in forest stewardship or tourism while reducing the number of domestic animals.

      PubDate: 2017-10-04T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.019
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Patterns of beta-diversity along elevational gradients inform epiphyte
           conservation in alpine forests under a climate change scenario
    • Authors: Juri Nascimbene; Daniel Spitale
      Pages: 26 - 32
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Juri Nascimbene, Daniel Spitale
      We explored the patterns of beta-diversity of forest epiphytic bryophytes and lichens along elevational gradients to elucidate the potential impact of climate change on these functionally relevant components of the forest biota of the Alps. Eight elevational gradients were selected from a regional forest database matching the requirement of hosting spruce-dominated forests within the whole elevational range of this forest type (900–1900m). We calculated the decay of species compositional similarity along the gradients, considering the beta diversity components, turnover and richness difference. We then assessed the importance of temperature in explaining variation in these components of beta diversity along the elevational gradients by using a distance-based redundancy analysis. Our results warn against the impact of climate change on epiphytic bryophyte and lichen communities in alpine spruce forests. This impact could be more rapid (higher rate of similarity decay) and severe for lichens, triggering species loss with temperature warming. In contrast, temperature warming is expected to cause relevant shifts in species composition to bryophyte communities, despite allowing to maintain species richness through species replacement. The contrasting mechanisms (species loss vs species replacement) by which climate influences bryophyte and lichen communities, suggest that conservation strategies should be tailored to each organism group. In particular, for bryophytes conservation efforts should be assigned to forests at each band of the elevation gradient which hosts peculiar assemblages. In contrast, for lichens priority for conservation should be assigned to forests at higher elevation that currently host the largest species pool. In this context, forest management is the primary tool available to mitigate the effect of climate change and to give a chance to delay the local extinction of several species.

      PubDate: 2017-10-04T09:42:20Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.021
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Viability analysis for multiple populations
    • Authors: Seth J. Wenger; Douglas R. Leasure; Daniel C. Dauwalter; Mary M. Peacock; Jason B. Dunham; Nathan D. Chelgren; Helen M. Neville
      Pages: 69 - 77
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Seth J. Wenger, Douglas R. Leasure, Daniel C. Dauwalter, Mary M. Peacock, Jason B. Dunham, Nathan D. Chelgren, Helen M. Neville
      Many species of conservation interest exist solely or largely in isolated populations. Ideally, prioritization of management actions among such populations would be guided by quantitative estimates of extinction risk, but conventional methods of demographic population viability analysis (PVA) model each population separately and require temporally extensive datasets that are rarely available in practice. We introduce a general class of statistical PVA that can be applied to many populations at once, which we term multiple population viability analysis or MPVA. The approach combines models of abundance at multiple spatial locations with temporal models of population dynamics, effectively borrowing information from more data-rich populations to inform inferences for data-poor populations. Covariates are used to explain population variability in space and time. Using Bayesian analysis, we illustrate the method with a dataset of Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi) observations that previously had been analyzed with conventional PVA. We find that MPVA predictions are similar in bias and higher in precision than predictions from simple PVA models that treat each population individually; moreover, the use of covariates in MPVA allows for predictions in minimally-sampled and unsampled populations. The basic MPVA model can be extended in multiple ways, such as by linking to a sampling and observation model to provide a full accounting of uncertainty. We conclude that the approach has great potential to expand the use of PVA for species that exist in multiple, isolated populations.

      PubDate: 2017-10-18T02:01:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.006
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Pathways to improve park-people relationships: Gendered attitude changes
           in Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar
    • Authors: Teri D. Allendorf; Myint Aung; Khine Khine Swe; Melissa Songer
      Pages: 78 - 85
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Teri D. Allendorf, Myint Aung, Khine Khine Swe, Melissa Songer
      The relationships that local residents have with protected areas present many challenges for protected area management. The objective of this paper is to explore the gendered impact of a protected area management strategy on communities around Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary in central Myanmar. Based on a survey that captured local people's attitudes toward the sanctuary, the warden modified the management strategy to accommodate local needs and perceptions. When the survey was repeated four years later, people were significantly more likely to like the sanctuary, less likely to mention problems, and more likely to mention benefits. Disaggregating changes by gender revealed that women's and men's perceptions changed in different ways. Women’s perceptions primarily improved through an increase in positive perceptions, such as conservation and ecosystem service benefits, while men's perceptions improved primarily through a decrease in negative perceptions, such as problems with extraction and protected area management. In other words, women's attitudes were improved through increasing their understanding of the positive benefits of conservation while men's attitudes improved through mitigating the conflict aspects. Our results align with research in other fields that has found that positive messaging has more impact on women while problem-solving resonates more with men. These results indicate that the promotion of protected area benefits and the mitigation of park-people conflicts can be distinct pathways for improving people's attitudes toward protected areas. More broadly, these results suggest that protected area managers should consider how management impact different groups and tailor outreach messages for different groups.

      PubDate: 2017-10-18T02:01:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.005
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Hypoxia as a novel method for preventing movement-induced mortality during
           translocation of turtle eggs
    • Authors: Sean A. Williamson; Roger G. Evans; Nathan J. Robinson; Richard D. Reina
      Pages: 86 - 92
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Sean A. Williamson, Roger G. Evans, Nathan J. Robinson, Richard D. Reina
      Relocation of turtle eggs for research or conservation purposes is associated with significant risk, because they are prone to movement-induced mortality resulting from damage to embryonic membranes. Hypoxic incubation of eggs after oviposition maintains embryos in pre-ovipositional embryonic arrest and delays development. Whether or not this extended developmental pause also delays the onset of sensitivity to movement-induced mortality remains unknown. In previous studies eggs have been incubated in hypoxia using heavy and expensive Perspex chambers. We tested whether extending pre-ovipositional embryonic arrest through hypoxic incubation protects embryos from movement-induced mortality and we investigated more practical and cost-effective methods for transporting eggs under hypoxic conditions. Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) eggs were randomly divided among four different treatments after oviposition; a control (normoxic) treatment, Perspex containers or ziplock bags filled with nitrogen gas, or vacuum-sealed bags. Eggs remained in their respective treatment for three days before being removed from their container or bag and placed into artificial incubators. Some eggs from each treatment were inverted when removed from their respective treatment in order to test their susceptibility to movement-induced mortality. We found a reduction in hatching success in the hypoxic treatments (20–43%) compared with the control (68%). However, all methods of hypoxic incubation delayed development and protected against movement-induced mortality. We conclude that plastic bags filled with nitrogen or vacuum bags can be used for maintenance of hypoxia in turtle eggs, thus providing a simple and cost-effective method for transportation of eggs for conservation and research purposes.

      PubDate: 2017-10-18T02:01:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.009
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • A multiple-species framework for integrating movement processes across
           life stages into the design of marine protected areas
    • Authors: Cassidy C. D'Aloia; Rémi M. Daigle; Isabelle M. Côté; Janelle M.R. Curtis; Frédéric Guichard; Marie-Josée Fortin
      Pages: 93 - 100
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Cassidy C. D'Aloia, Rémi M. Daigle, Isabelle M. Côté, Janelle M.R. Curtis, Frédéric Guichard, Marie-Josée Fortin
      A major objective of marine protected area (MPA) network design is to ensure the persistence of species with diverse life histories and functional traits. Considering how species differ in their propensity to move within and between MPAs is therefore a key consideration for multi-species MPA network design. Here, we propose a conceptual framework to incorporate ecological processes that affect movement at multiple life stages into the MPA network design process. We illustrate how our framework can be implemented using a set of hypothetical species that represent regional trait diversity in coastal British Columbia, Canada. We focused on two ecological processes: (1) dispersal during the larval phase and (2) daily home range movement during the adult phase. To identify functional connectivity patterns, we used a biophysical model to simulate larval dispersal, and then prioritized highly-connected patches using a reserve selection algorithm. To ensure that individual reserves were commensurate with home ranges, we also imposed reserve size constraints. Candidate areas for protection were identified based on multi-species connectivity patterns and home range size constraints. Collectively, this conceptual framework offers a flexible approach to multi-species, cross-life stage conservation planning, which can be further adapted to address complex life histories. As marine conservation efforts around the globe aim to design ecologically connected networks of protected areas, the integration of movement and connectivity data throughout ontogeny will be a key component of effective multi-species MPA network design.

      PubDate: 2017-10-26T06:41:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.012
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Evaluating the influence of integrative forest management on old-growth
           habitat structures in a temperate forest region
    • Authors: Thomas A. Nagel; Dejan Firm; Rok Pisek; Tomaz Mihelic; David Hladnik; Maarten de Groot; Dusan Rozenbergar
      Pages: 101 - 107
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Thomas A. Nagel, Dejan Firm, Rok Pisek, Tomaz Mihelic, David Hladnik, Maarten de Groot, Dusan Rozenbergar
      Integrative forest management attempts to simultaneously fulfill both wood production and biodiversity conservation in a given forest region, and presumably supplants the need for unmanaged forest reserves. This is the dominant management paradigm in the temperate zone of Europe, yet few studies have examined the validity of this approach. We used Slovenia as a test bed to examine how the long-term practice of integrative forest management has influenced two structural components of mature forest conditions, namely coarse woody debris (CWD) and large living trees, as well as the distribution of the White-backed Woodpecker, a species dependent on such conditions. Data were compiled from national inventory plots, coupled with separate surveys in 51 forest reserves. The mean volume of CWD and density of large beech trees across managed forests in Slovenia was 15m3 ha−1 and 6ha−1, respectively; these mean values were significantly higher (165m3 ha−1 and 55ha−1) in old-growth reserves. CWD was primarily comprised of small diameter pieces in managed forest, whereas large diameter pieces in multiple stages of decay represented most of the volume in reserves. These results, coupled with the limited distribution of the woodpecker across the country, suggest that integrative management practiced over a large scale may be insufficient for maintaining biodiversity dependent on mature forest conditions at current levels of wood extraction.

      PubDate: 2017-10-26T06:41:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.008
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Smaller ungulates are first to incur imminent extirpation from an African
           protected area
    • Authors: Norman Owen-Smith; Joris P.G.M. Cromsigt; Elizabeth Le Roux
      Pages: 108 - 114
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Norman Owen-Smith, Joris P.G.M. Cromsigt, Elizabeth Le Roux
      It is commonly assumed that larger species are more vulnerable to extinction because of their low population densities and slow time to recover from setbacks. We report that, contrary to this expectation, it is the smaller ungulate species that first reached the brink of local extirpation within a 950km2 fenced protected area, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Moreover, earlier records show that most of these species had formerly been extremely common within the park region. Neither habitat change, competition for resources or exposure to predation provided a consistent sole explanation for the drastic population crashes shown by five smaller ungulate species (body mass 10–45kg). We suggest that smaller species can be more vulnerable to local extinction as a consequence of their narrower habitat occupation and hence restricted spatial distribution. Nevertheless all of the threatened species thrive widely outside the protected area. Our findings show that smaller rather than larger species can be most at risk of local extirpation when confined within protected areas. Hence more attention needs to be given to conserving such species within broader regional landscapes.

      PubDate: 2017-10-26T06:41:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.013
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Identifying thresholds of logging intensity on dung beetle communities to
           improve the sustainable management of Amazonian tropical forests
    • Authors: Filipe M. França; Fábio S. Frazão; Vanesca Korasaki; Júlio Louzada; Jos Barlow
      Pages: 115 - 122
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Filipe M. França, Fábio S. Frazão, Vanesca Korasaki, Júlio Louzada, Jos Barlow
      Selective logging is the most widespread driver of tropical forest disturbance. As such, it is critically important to identify at which spatial scale logging intensity should be measured and whether there are clear thresholds in the relationship between logging intensity and its impacts on biodiversity or ecological processes. We address this using a robust before-and–after logging experimental design in the Brazilian Amazon, using a gradient of logging intensity measured at two different spatial scales. We assessed the impacts of selective logging using dung beetle communities and their ecological functions of dung removal and soil bioturbation. Our findings provide novel empirical evidence that biological consequences from Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) depend strongly on the scale at which logging intensity is measured: dung beetle local species richness and composition were strongly associated with logging intensity measured at a 10ha scale, while dung beetle-mediated soil bioturbation was more strongly associated with logging intensity measured across 90ha. Contrary to expectations, we found concave-shaped relationships between logging intensity and biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, demonstrating that sensitive dung beetle species and important processes may be lost following even low intensity anthropogenic forest disturbances. Taken together, these results suggest that production forests in the tropics need to reconsider the scale at which logging intensity is regulated, and put in place measures that further incentivise land sparing to enhance biodiversity conservation.

      PubDate: 2017-10-26T06:41:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.014
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Inventory and prioritization for the conservation of crop wild relatives
           in The Netherlands under climate change
    • Authors: Rob van Treuren; Roel Hoekstra; Theo J.L. van Hintum
      Pages: 123 - 139
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Rob van Treuren, Roel Hoekstra, Theo J.L. van Hintum
      Crop-related wild plant species are a rich source of genetic diversity and are potentially useful in plant breeding for the development of varieties with novel traits. However, many crop wild relatives are poorly represented in gene banks, while their continued survival in situ is by no means ensured. Here we introduced a methodology to inventory relevant taxa and to assess their threat levels for continued survival in situ, including the expected effects of climate change, and applied it to crop wild relatives in The Netherlands. A total number of 214 taxa of wild relatives of economically important agricultural and horticultural crops were identified, of which 53 are included in the Dutch red list of plant species. The group of 53 red list species was studied in more detail to prioritize species for conservation. Based on recent distribution data, the number of Dutch populations consisting of at least 50 individuals varied strongly among the red list species. The majority of these ‘large’ populations were found to be located in protected areas. Furthermore, niche modelling was used to study the expected effects of climate change on the future distribution of the red list species. These analyses predicted a reduced distribution area for the majority of species, although also positive effects of climate change were observed for several species. Similar patterns of change were observed when only protected areas were considered. Results of the study were used to prioritize the conservation of crop wild relatives in The Netherlands.

      PubDate: 2017-10-26T06:41:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.003
      Issue No: Vol. 216 (2017)
       
  • Conservation potential of apex predator tourism
    • Authors: Catherine Macdonald; Austin J. Gallagher; Adam Barnett; Juerg Brunnschweiler; David S. Shiffman; Neil Hammerschlag
      Pages: 132 - 141
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Catherine Macdonald, Austin J. Gallagher, Adam Barnett, Juerg Brunnschweiler, David S. Shiffman, Neil Hammerschlag
      In recent decades, public interest in apex predators has led to the creation and expansion of predator-focused wildlife tourism. As wildlife tourism has become an increasing topic of study for both social and biological scientists, researchers have debated whether these activities serve conservation goals by providing non-consumptive values for wildlife. Discussion of predator tourism requires additional recognition of predator-specific biological and ecological characteristics, consideration of human safety concerns, and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. By reviewing tourism activities centered on both aquatic and terrestrial predators from diverse taxa (sharks, crocodiles, and big cats), we evaluate the potential benefits and conservation challenges associated with predator tourism. Our review suggests that positive conservation outcomes are possible, but not assured given historical, cultural, and ecological complexities. We explore some of the factors which determine whether tourism contributes to conservation outcomes, including (1) effective protection of animals and habitats, (2) avoidance and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, (3) quality of associated educational interpretation and outreach, (4) collaboration with local stakeholders, and (5) use of generated funds to advance conservation goals. Our findings suggest tourism is most likely to support predator conservation and/or recovery when the industry has both public and political support and under conditions of effective regulation focused on management, monitoring and enforcement by local, national, and international bodies.

      PubDate: 2017-09-26T00:33:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.013
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Projecting the performance of conservation interventions
    • Authors: Elizabeth A. Law; Paul J. Ferraro; Peter Arcese; Brett A. Bryan; Katrina Davis; Ascelin Gordon; Matthew H. Holden; Gwenllian Iacona; Raymundo Marcos Martinez; Clive A. McAlpine; Jonathan R. Rhodes; Jocelyne S. Sze; Kerrie A. Wilson
      Pages: 142 - 151
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Elizabeth A. Law, Paul J. Ferraro, Peter Arcese, Brett A. Bryan, Katrina Davis, Ascelin Gordon, Matthew H. Holden, Gwenllian Iacona, Raymundo Marcos Martinez, Clive A. McAlpine, Jonathan R. Rhodes, Jocelyne S. Sze, Kerrie A. Wilson
      Successful decision-making for environmental management requires evidence of the performance and efficacy of proposed conservation interventions. Projecting the future impacts of prospective conservation policies and programs is challenging due to a range of complex ecological, economic, social and ethical factors, and in particular the need to extrapolate models to novel contexts. Yet many extrapolation techniques currently employed are limited by unfounded assumptions of causality and a reliance on potentially biased inferences drawn from limited data. We show how these restrictions can be overcome by established and emerging techniques from causal inference, scenario analysis, systematic review, expert elicitation, and global sensitivity analysis. These technical advances provide avenues to untangle cause from correlation, evaluate and transfer models between contexts, characterize uncertainty, and address imperfect data. With more rigorous projections of prospective performance of interventions, scientists can deliver policy and program advice that is more scientifically credible.

      PubDate: 2017-09-26T00:33:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.029
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Conservation aquaculture: Shifting the narrative and paradigm of
           aquaculture's role in resource management
    • Authors: Halley E. Froehlich; Rebecca R. Gentry; Benjamin S. Halpern
      Pages: 162 - 168
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Halley E. Froehlich, Rebecca R. Gentry, Benjamin S. Halpern
      In the 21st century, aquaculture is generally characterized as a foe to conservation efforts. Yet, much has changed in the two seemingly disparate practices over the last two decades, motivating an updated evaluation of the scientific evidence for how aquaculture currently impacts conservation, as well as prospects for further alignment and research. Here we present a new perspective on conservation aquaculture, which we redefine as “the use of human cultivation of an aquatic organism for the planned management and protection of a natural resource.” Looking across scales of conservation aquaculture that include single species to ecosystem level benefits (and limitations), we highlight ways aquaculture has historically, and is currently being integrated into conservation (e.g., habitat restoration of oyster beds) and areas that could be improved for the protection of critical species and habitats (e.g., aquarium trade of coral reef species). With a more strategic focus, there appears to be notable conservation aquaculture potential via the cultivation of species for harvest that could provide wild harvest alleviation through replacement or supplement – particularly for over-exploited species – and/or ecosystem services, such as improved water quality and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Given that aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry on the planet, aligning farming practices with conservation objectives is particularly pressing to ensure that growth happens in the service of conservation in the most effective and sustainable way possible. The sheer potential of conservation aquaculture suggests a tale of redemption for aquaculture and opportunity for conservationists to bring in a new age of collaborative practices to address global issues.

      PubDate: 2017-09-26T00:33:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.012
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Toward functional pollinator abundance and diversity: Comparing policy
           response for neonicotinoid use to demonstrate a need for cautious and
           well-planned policy
    • Authors: Melissa Anne Beryl Vogt
      Pages: 196 - 212
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Melissa Anne Beryl Vogt
      Functional pollinator abundance and diversity reflects global ecosystem health. Declines imply consequences for ecosystems, food production and human health. While broader objectives away from monoculture conventional agriculture is not addressed smaller scale approaches for land management require analysis to improve pollinator conservation outcomes. Policy response to neonicotinoid use can provide valuable lessons for developing well-informed, cautious and planned policy that encourages pollinator abundance and diversity. Response is inconsistent around the world with harm considered scientifically inconclusive by companies, governments and policy makers, and varied responses reflecting this position. Bans demonstrate how strong precautionary policy can assist pollination conservation despite a multitude of contrasting stakeholder opinions. Approach to implementation of such bans influences longevity and influence on conservation. This article presents findings from analysis of policy response by country to neonicotinoid use and suggests that variation in response be attributed to three non-exclusive areas; translation of research findings – influencing how inconclusive research findings could increase motivation for strong precaution, vested interest and approach to implementation. Scholarly articles and research findings clarifying information available to inform policy decisions are summarised through literature review, organised by key theme of article and additionally-mentioned themes. Meta-analysis of the scholarly articles provides statistical representation of mention rates indicative of how pollinator research is considering multiple stressors, associated or concurrent as contributing to declines. The policy process for neonicotinoid use is suggested as a space for learning where other conservation approaches, including introducing new species becomes relevant for policy.

      PubDate: 2017-09-26T00:33:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.006
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Bias and perspectives in insect conservation: A European scale analysis
    • Authors: Camila Leandro; Pierre Jay-Robert; Alan Vergnes
      Pages: 213 - 224
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215
      Author(s): Camila Leandro, Pierre Jay-Robert, Alan Vergnes
      Insects are among the most diverse and abundant organisms on Earth, and they play a major role in ecosystem functioning. To protect them from decline, some conservation measures have been put in place, based primarily on threatened species lists. This is the case in Europe, where 123 of the 105,000 known European insect species are currently protected. Yet how were these few species selected' Are those species representative of the European entomofauna' Is it possible for a conservation policy based on the protection of only 0.12% of described species to be effective' In this study, we aimed to measure bias in the selection of species for conservation by comparing protected and unprotected species in Europe. To this end, we considered 15 characteristics divided into five main categories: ‘Taxonomy’, ‘Morphology’, ‘Diet’, ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Distribution’. We investigated bias in species selection and found that protected species were significantly larger, better known, more widespread and more multicoloured than a randomly selected set of unprotected species. Moreover, butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers were overrepresented, as were nectarivorous and saproxylophagous species. In contrast, Hymenopterans and Dipterans, together representing >40% of European entomofauna, do not appear on the current list of protected species. To address this bias, we propose recommendations to improve the protection of insects at the European scale, including making lists more ‘dynamic’, introducing new criteria, and a paradigm shift towards conserving assemblages and ecological function. Existing technical and societal means could be used to achieve an integrative conservation approach for insects.

      PubDate: 2017-09-26T00:33:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.033
      Issue No: Vol. 215 (2017)
       
  • Over-simplifying evidence synthesis' A response to Cook et al., 2017
    • Authors: Neal R. Haddaway; Lynn V. Dicks
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation
      Author(s): Neal R. Haddaway, Lynn V. Dicks


      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.003
       
  • Erratum to “Urban residents' perceptions of neighbourhood nature: Does
           the extinction of experience matter'” [Biol. Conserv. 203 (2016)
           143–150]
    • Authors: Masashi Soga; Kevin J. Gaston; Tomoyo F. Koyanagi; Kiyo Kurisu; Keisuke Hanaki
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation
      Author(s): Masashi Soga, Kevin J. Gaston, Tomoyo F. Koyanagi, Kiyo Kurisu, Keisuke Hanaki


      PubDate: 2017-11-09T02:28:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.025
       
  • Military training areas as refuges for threatened dragonfly species:
           Effect of spatial isolation and military activity
    • Authors: Filip
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2018
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 217
      Author(s): Filip Harabiš, Aleš Dolný
      A long-term decline in habitat quality and freshwater species diversity has forced conservation managers to consider secondary habitats, such as military training areas (MTAs), that were previously overlooked but have conservation potential. Isolation from many negative anthropogenic influences combined with disturbances associated with military activities can benefit the diversity of terrestrial species. However, little is known about the conservation potential of freshwater habitats that are an integral part of MTAs. In this study, we used dragonflies and damselflies as valuable indicators of habitat quality to compare the diversity of freshwater sites inside and outside MTAs. We randomly selected 16 sites inside four extensive MTAs and 16 reference sites outside MTAs and examined the differences in traits of species occurring inside and outside the MTAs. We found that the diversity and conservation value of dragonfly communities inside MTAs was comparable to that in the most valuable freshwater habitats outside MTAs. Inside MTAs, species were primarily those associated with habitats in the late successional stages, while species associated with early successional stages were absent. Undoubtedly, the conservation potential of MTAs for freshwater invertebrates is in the long-term isolation from negative anthropogenic influences. Paradoxically, the main potential problem in protecting freshwater habitats inside MTAs is the cessation of military activity.

      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
       
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216


      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
       
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 215


      PubDate: 2017-11-01T23:32:31Z
       
  • Severe decline and partial recovery of a rare butterfly on an active
           military training area
    • Authors: Konstantina Zografou; Mark Swartz Virginia Tilden Erika McKinney Julie Eckenrode
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Konstantina Zografou, Mark T. Swartz, Virginia P. Tilden, Erika N. McKinney, Julie A. Eckenrode, Brent J. Sewall
      Global patterns of land-use change have led conservationists to rely increasingly on human-dominated landscapes for biodiversity conservation. One set of such landscapes, military training areas, hold promise for conservation as they are widespread and often harbor rare habitat types. However, military training areas are often heavily impacted and are not managed primarily for conservation. We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a military training area for conservation by assessing the population of an extremely rare butterfly, the eastern regal fritillary (Speyeria idalia idalia), for which the sole viable population is within Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Pennsylvania, USA. Long-term monitoring data exist for this butterfly, but analysis has been complicated by the non-conformity of count data to standard statistical assumptions, the natural history of these butterflies, and challenges inherent to monitoring on a military training area. To address these complications, we used a novel multi-step process with zero-inflated generalized additive mixed models in a Bayesian framework. Data included 23,492 transect walks over 18years. Our results provide the first comprehensive analysis of population trajectories for S. i.idalia, and indicate that after a long decline, populations have increased and, more recently, levelled. Temporal concordance of the increase with the onset of intensive logging and prescribed burning suggests the importance of large-scale, active management efforts. These results further clarify that, with active management of an appropriate scale, even the busiest military training areas can serve as effective sites for conservation. Thus, such areas may be underexploited for biodiversity conservation.

      PubDate: 2017-10-11T17:42:51Z
       
  • Grassland management in agricultural vs. forested landscapes drives
           butterfly and bird diversity
    • Authors: Lunja Ernst; Teja Tscharntke
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Biological Conservation, Volume 216
      Author(s): Lunja M. Ernst, Teja Tscharntke, Péter Batáry
      Calcareous grasslands and orchard meadows are among the most species-rich semi-natural habitats in Europe, but they are severely threatened by intensified land use and abandonment. Here, we focus on the effects of management vs. abandonment of these grasslands in agricultural vs. forest-dominated landscapes of Germany. We recorded butterflies and birds and classified them in farmland and woodland species according to their habitat preferences. Species richness and abundance of farmland butterflies were higher on calcareous grasslands than orchard meadows and benefited from forested landscapes in case of orchard meadows. Species richness of woodland butterflies was higher on abandoned than managed grasslands, independent of habitat type and landscape context. Richness and abundance of farmland birds benefited from managed orchard meadows, and were more abundant in agricultural landscapes. On calcareous grasslands, however, the abandonment led to higher richness and abundance of farmland birds. Woodland birds exhibited higher species richness in abandoned than managed grasslands, especially in orchard meadows. Woodland birds and butterflies appeared to be less affected by habitat type, management or landscape context than farmland species. Calcareous grasslands were much more important for butterfly diversity than orchard meadows, but suitability of orchards for butterflies was improved when embedded in forested landscapes. In contrast to butterflies, bird diversity benefited more from orchard meadows than calcareous grasslands, which had higher diversity when management was abandoned. In conclusion, landscape context can shape communities in these two grassland habitat types, so conservation management should consider reserves in both agricultural and forested landscapes and thereby, diversify regional biota.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2017-10-11T17:42:51Z
       
 
 
JournalTOCs
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
 
Home (Search)
Subjects A-Z
Publishers A-Z
Customise
APIs
Your IP address: 54.224.102.26
 
About JournalTOCs
API
Help
News (blog, publications)
JournalTOCs on Twitter   JournalTOCs on Facebook

JournalTOCs © 2009-2016