Academic Articles April 7

Source: Create national parks around UK coastline, conservation group says

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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Back from the dead? Not really. The tale of the Galapagos shark in a remote Brazilian archipelago

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Joyce de Queiroz, Natalia Bezerra, Bruno Macena, Fábio Hazin
  • The Galapagos shark is a large circumtropical species mostly found around oceanic islands. In Brazil, commercial fishing in the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of carcharhinid sharks, and the once very abundant Galapagos shark was then considered locally extinct…

Quantifying wildlife responses to conservation fencing in East Africa

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Christine Wilkinson, Alex McInturff, Maggi Kelly, Justin Brashares
  • The fencing of protected areas is increasing worldwide. However, the implementation of fences for conservation has outpaced scientific assessment of their effectiveness, non-target impacts, and long-term costs. We assessed landscape predictors of fence crossing sites and employed camera traps…

Reduced human activity in shallow reefs during the COVID-19 pandemic increases fish evenness

  • Source: Biological Conservation 
  • Author(s): Victor China, Assaf Zvuloni, Uri Roll, Jonathan Belmaker
  • The COVID-19 pandemic provides a rare opportunity to examine effects of people on natural systems and processes. Here, we collected fish diversity data from coral reefs at the Israeli Gulf of Aqaba during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. We examined beach entrances to the reef, nearby shallow reefs and deeper areas exposed mostly to divers…

To mix or not to mix gene pools for threatened species management? Few studies use genetic data to examine the risks of both actions, but failing to do so leads disproportionately to recommendations for separate management

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Erin Liddell, Paul Sunnucks, Carly Cook
  • Many small, isolated populations lose genetic variation and suffer inbreeding, increasing their extinction risk. Augmenting gene flow may alleviate these issues if populations are compatible to mix. Accordingly, recommendations for genetic management should weigh the risk of allowing populations to remain small and separate against augmenting gene flow through gene-pool mixing…

Addressing the challenges of research on human-wildlife interactions using the concept of Coupled Natural & Human Systems

  • Source: Biological Conservation
  • Author(s): Krishna Balasubramaniam et al.
  • With the global expansion of human populations, research on human-wildlife interactions (HWIs) has become increasingly important in conservation science. Despite its growing importance, such research faces challenges that include a bias towards evaluating wildlife- compared to human-related aspects of interactions…Here we review how the Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNHS) approach has been useful to address these challenges…

Public perceptions of Ireland’s pollinators: A case for more inclusive pollinator conservation initiatives

  • Source: Journal for Nature Conservation
  • Author(s): Katherine Burns, Úna Fitzpatrick, Dara Stanley
  • We used Ireland as a case study to determine how insect pollinators, pollination services, and pollinator decline are currently perceived by the public in an effort to understand the links between public knowledge and perceptions of pollinators, the implementation of insect pollinator conservation actions, and engagement with existing conservation initiatives…

Restoring pollination is not only about pollinators: Combining ecological and practical information to identify priority plant species for restoration of the Pampa grasslands of Argentina

  • Source: Journal for Nature Conservation
  • Author(s): Malena Sabatino, Adriana Rovere, Paula Meli
  • Restoration of plant-pollinator interaction has emerged as a critical issue in the maintenance of resilient and healthy ecosystems. However, some challenges remain, such as integrating ecological and practical information in plant species’ choices to restore mutualistic interactions. We present a case-based experience that combines ecological information and practical information to prioritise species for the restoration of pollination…

Temporal matching of occurrence localities and forest cover data helps improve range estimates and predict climate change vulnerabilities

  • Source: Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): Maria Gavrutenko, Beth Gerstner, Jamie Kass, Steven Goodman, Robert Anderson
  • Improved quantification of species’ ranges is needed to provide more accurate estimates of extinction risks for conservation planning… Here, we demonstrate a novel and practical approach for quantifying inferred range reductions based upon temporal matching of recent species occurrence localities and vegetation data…

Effect of highways on breeding birds: Example of Hulunbeier, China

  • Source: Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): Shilin Xie et al.
  • Roads have diverse influences on surrounding biodiversity, especially birds. Here, we evaluated the ecological influences of a highway on avian diversity in the Erka Wetland Reserve (Inner Mongolia, China) to guide future road construction projects…

Use of local knowledge for contributing to the conservation of Caesalpinia bondu (L.) Roxb in southern Benin (West Africa)

  • Source: Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): Bruno Lokonon, Fabrice Sodoté, Romain Kakaï
  • Natural resources such as medicinal plants are important in the livelihood systems of many local people around the world. The high anthropogenic pressure on these species lead to their progressive disappearance. This is the case of a medicinal plant widely used in southern Benin but already extinct in the wild…

A survey of habitats on agricultural land in Estonia II. Detailed interpretation of the habitats’ landscape ecology and how this relates to alien plant species

  • Source: Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): D. Pungar, R. Bunce, J. Raet, T. Kaart, K. Sepp
  • The main objectives of the paper are to provide a description of the ecological character of Estonian agricultural landscapes and also their contribution to biodiversity resources. Agricultural landscapes are vulnerable to alterations in environmental factors and management that lead to changes in the balance of plant species and, therefore, to modifications in the structure and character of vegetation…

Low‐cost tools mitigate climate change during reproduction in an endangered marine ectotherm

  • Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Leo Clarke et al.
  • The impacts of anthropogenic climate change will be most dramatic for species that live in narrow thermal niches, such as reptiles. Given the imminent threat to biodiversity, and that actions to reduce carbon emissions are not yet sufficient, it is important that a sound evidence base of potential mitigation options is available for conservation managers…

Plant–pollinator interactions between generalists persist over time and space

  • Source: Ecology
  • Author(s): Julian Resasco, Natacha Chacoff, Diego Vázquez
  • Generalist species are the linchpins of networks, as they are important for maintaining network structure and function. Previous studies have shown that interactions between generalists tend to occur consistently across years and sites. However, the link between temporal and spatial interaction persistence across scales remains unclear. To address this gap, we collected data on plant–pollinator interactions…

Aquatic biodiversity enhances multiple nutritional benefits to humans

  • Source: PNAS
  • Author(s): Joey Bernhardt, Mary O’Connor
  • Humanity depends on biodiversity for health, well-being, and a stable environment. As biodiversity change accelerates, we are still discovering the full range of consequences for human health and well-being. Here, we test the hypothesis—derived from biodiversity–ecosystem functioning theory-that species richness and ecological functional diversity allow seafood diets to fulfill multiple nutritional requirements, a condition necessary for human health…

COVID‐19 and protected areas: Impacts, conflicts, and possible management solutions

  • Source: Conservation Letters
  • Author(s): Nikoleta Jones et al.
  • During the first wave of the COVID‐19 pandemic, management authorities of numerous Protected Areas (PAs) had to discourage visitors from accessing them in order to reduce the virus transmission rate and protect local communities. This added another layer of complexity to managing PAs…

At-risk marine biodiversity faces extensive, expanding, and intensifying human impacts

  • Source: Science 
  • Author(s): Casey O’Hara, Melanie Frazier, Benjamin S. Halpern
  • Human activities and climate change threaten marine biodiversity worldwide, though sensitivity to these stressors varies considerably by species and taxonomic group. Mapping the spatial distribution of 14 anthropogenic stressors from 2003 to 2013 onto the ranges of 1271 at-risk marine species sensitive to them, we found that, on average, species faced potential impacts across 57% of their ranges…

Demography reveals populational expansion of a recently extinct Iberian ungulate

  • Source: Zoosystematics and Evolution
  • Author(s): Giovanni Forcina et al.
  • Reconstructing the demographic history of endangered taxa is paramount to predict future fluctuations and disentangle the contributing factors. Extinct taxa or populations might also provide key insights in this respect by means of the DNA extracted from museum specimens…

Future increases in Arctic lightning and fire risk for permafrost carbon

  • Source: Nature Climate Change
  • Author(s): Yang Chen et al.
  • Lightning is an indicator and a driver of climate change. Here, using satellite observations of lightning flash rate and ERA5 reanalysis, we find that the spatial pattern of summer lightning over northern circumpolar regions exhibits a strong positive relationship with the product of convective available potential energy (CAPE) and precipitation…

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