Academic Articles August 10

Source: IUCN Standard to boost impact of nature-based solutions to global challenges


The latest academic papers on conservation. If you have a paper that you would like to share, please get in contact with us. Click on the title to follow the link to each article. Please note that some of these articles are behind a paywall.

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Half the Earth largely untrammeled by humans

  • Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • Author(s): Janet Pelley
  • Leading up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, now scheduled for 2021 in Kunming, China, conservation advocates have built momentum for protecting at least half of the Earth’s surface by 2050. This proposal is getting a boost from a new study that demonstrates that about one‐half of the world’s land surface has a low degree of human influence…

Reducing the sixth mass extinction: Understanding the value of human-altered landscapes to the conservation of the world’s largest terrestrial mammals

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Erik Joaquín Torres-Romero, Anthony J. Giordano, Gerardo Ceballos, José Vicente López-Bao
  • The world’s large terrestrial mammalian carnivores and herbivores (henceforth, megafauna) has been severely impacted by humans worldwide. Although this impact across the globe is variable…

Incorporating coextinction in threat assessments and policy will rapidly improve the accuracy of threatened species lists

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Melinda L. Moir, Karl E.C. Brennan
  • Threatened species lists are important policy tools for species conservation, and they are often used to help prioritize recovery actions. Current listing processes, such as the IUCN red list threat assessment, rely on accepted correlates of extinction risk…

A global parasite conservation plan

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Colin J. Carlson et al.
  • Found throughout the tree of life and in every ecosystem, parasites are some of the most diverse, ecologically important animals on Earth—but in almost all cases, the least protected by wildlife or ecosystem conservation efforts. 

Valuing Ecosystem Services Can Help to Save Seabirds

  • Source: Science and Society
  • Author(s):Daniel Plazas-Jiménez Marcus V. Cianciaruso
  • Biodiversity provides crucial but overlooked contributions to human wellbeing. One way to call attention to these contributions is to monetise them. We have estimated that the value of seabird nutrient deposition could be up to US$473.83 million annually. This figure should increase awareness of the…

COVID‐19 crisis demonstrates the urgent need for urban greenspaces

  • Sources: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • Author(s): Fritz Kleinschroth, Ingo Kowarik
  • Recent acceleration of urban growth rates has put greenspaces under pressure in cities worldwide, despite the well‐known health benefits they provide for city dwellers. 

One Health and the COVID‐19 pandemic

  • Source: Frontiers in Ecology and Environment
  • Author(s): Dan Salkeld
  • At the beginning of the spring 2020 semester, in the latest iteration of my Ecology of Infectious Disease class, I explained the relatively frequent phenomenon known as “zoonotic spillover” – when a pathogen jumps from an animal host species into a human population.

Climate change, tropical fisheries and prospects for sustainable development

  • Source: Nature Reviews Earth and Environment
  • Author(s): Vicky W. Y. Lam et al.
  • Seafood is the most highly traded food commodity globally, with tropical zone marine fisheries contributing more than 50% of the global fish catch, an average of $USD 96 billion annually. Available scientific evidence consistently shows that tropical marine habitats, fish stocks and fisheries are most…

Thermal displacement by marine heatwaves

  • Source: Nature
  • Author(s): Michael G. Jacox, Michael A. Alexander, Steven J. Bograd, James D. Scott
  • Marine heatwaves across the world’s oceans can displace habitat for sea turtles, whales, and other marine life by 10s to thousands of kilometers. They dramatically shift these animals’ preferred temperatures in a fraction of the time that climate change is expected to do the same, new research shows.

The COVID-19 lockdowns: a window into the Earth System

  • Source: Nature Reviews Earth and the Environment
  • Author(s): Noah S. Diffenbaugh et al.
  • Researchers hypothesize outcomes of the pandemic’s unprecedented socioeconomic disruption and outline research priorities for advancing our understanding of humans’ impact on the environment.

Working with Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) in large‐scale ecological assessments: Reviewing the experience of the IPBES Global Assessment

  • Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Pamela McElwee et al.
  • Grassroots knowledge from indigenous people can help to map and monitor ecological changes and improve scientific studies, according to new research. The study shows the importance of indigenous and local knowledge for monitoring ecosystem changes and managing ecosystems. The team collected more than…

Zoonotic host diversity increases in human-dominated ecosystems

  • Source: Nature
  • Author(s): Rory Gibb et al.
  • Global changes in land use are disrupting the balance of wild animal communities in our environment, and species that carry diseases known to infect humans appear to be benefiting, finds a new study.

Biologically important artificial light at night on the seafloor

  • Source: Scientific Reports
  • Author(s): Thomas W. Davies, David McKee, James Fishwick, Svenja Tidau, Tim Smyth 
  • New research is the first in the world to quantify the extent to which biologically important artificial light is prevalent on the seafloor and could, in turn, be having a detrimental effect on marine species.

Childhood nature connection and constructive hope: A review of research on connecting with nature and coping with environmental loss

  • Source: People and Nature
  • Author(s): Louise Chawla
  • A literature review finds that children are happier and more likely to protect the natural world when they have a greater connection to it, but this connection is complex and can also generate negative emotions linked to issues like climate change.

A global map of terrestrial habitat types

  • Source: Scientific Data
  • Author(s): Martin Jung et al.
  • We provide a global, spatially explicit characterization of 47 terrestrial habitat types, as defined in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) habitat classification scheme…

Motivations for the use and consumption of wildlife products

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Laura Thomas-Walters et al.
  • The dominant approach to combating the illegal wildlife trade has traditionally been to restrict the supply of wildlife products. Yet conservationists increasingly recognise the importance of implementing demand‐side interventions that target the end consumers in the trade chain. Their aim…

Evaluating surrogates of genetic diversity for conservation planning

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Jeffery O. Hanson et al. 
  • Protected area systems should conserve intra‐specific genetic diversity. Since genetic data require resources to obtain, several approaches have been proposed for generating plans for protected area systems (prioritizations) when genetic data are not available. Yet such surrogate‐based approaches…

Ethics and biodiversity offsetting

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Mikael Karlsson, Karin Edvardsson Björnberg
  • Biodiversity offsetting is an increasingly applied tool aiming to compensate for environmental damage caused by exploitation projects. Critics, however, raise concerns over the purported effectiveness of offsetting and question the ethical underpinnings and implications of offsetting. But these…

Upgrades of coastal protective infrastructure affect benthic communities

  • Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Lea T. Mamo et al.
  • Sea‐level rise, storm surges, aging and wear are forcing upgrades to breakwaters and seawalls to protect coastal areas from erosion and inundation. Such upgrades involve the introduction of new material which may consequently act as an ecological disturbance that can alter established…

Attention increases environmental risk perception

  • Source: Journal of Experimental Psychology
  • Author(s): K. Mrkva, J. C. Cole, L. Van Boven
  • With COVID-19 dominating the headlines, searches for climate change are on the decline. That worries authors of a new study showing that even brief, involuntary attention to environmental issues moves people to care more and act.

Plant richness, turnover, and evolutionary diversity track gradients of stability and ecological opportunity in a megadiversity center

  • Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Author(s): Jonathan F. Colville et al.
  • Researchers have discovered why the tropics and a handful of other areas across the globe have become the most biodiverse places on the planet.

Extreme environmental conditions reduce coral reef fish biodiversity and productivity

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): Simon J. Brandl et al.
  • Biologists recently studied cryptobenthic reef fishes in the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and found that the more thermally extreme coral reef habitat in the Arabian Gulf adversely impacted the diversity and productivity of these important fishes.

Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19

  • Source: Nature Climate Change
  • Author(s): Piers M. Forster et al.
  • The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden reduction of both GHG emissions and air pollutants. Here, using national mobility data, we estimate global emission reductions…

Identifying spatial conservation priorities using Traditional and Local Ecological Knowledge of iconic marine species and ecosystem threats

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Mae M. Noble, David Harasti, Christopher J. Fulton, Bruce Doran
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can be an effective spatial approach to conservation, especially when they involve genuine consultation that considers the diversity of stakeholders. Participatory mapping…

Conference scheduling undermines diversity efforts

  • Source: Nature Ecology & Evolution
  • Author(s): Nicholas P. Burnett, Emily E. King, Mary K. Salcedo, Richelle L. Tanner, Kathryn Wilsterman 
  • Read on here…

Beyond banning wildlife trade: COVID-19, conservation and development

  • Source: World Development
  • Author(s): Dilys Roe et al.
  • One of the immediate responses to COVID-19 has been a call to ban wildlife trade given the suspected origin of the pandemic in a Chinese market selling and butchering wild animals. There is clearly an urgent need to tackle wildlife trade that is illegal…

Sleuthing with sound: Understanding vessel activity in marine protected areas using passive acoustic monitoring

  • Source: Marine Policy
  • Author(s): Logan R. Kline et al.
  • Monitoring compliance and enforcing laws are integral to ensuring the success of marine protected areas (MPAs), but traditional monitoring techniques are costly and resource demanding. 

Opportunities to close the gap between science and practice for Marine Protected Areas in Brazil

  • Source: Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): Morena Mills et al.
  • Conservation science is a mission-driven discipline, yet there are few assessments on whether conservation practices follow scientific recommendations, and thus missed opportunities for improvement. Brazil has among the greatest gaps…
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