Academic Articles September 8

Source: Meet the Canadian farmers fighting climate change


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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A “Global Safety Net” to reverse biodiversity loss and stabilize Earth’s climate

  • Source: Science Advances
  • Author(s): E. Dinerstein et al.
  • Global strategies to halt the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change are often formulated separately, even though they are interdependent and risk failure if pursued in isolation. The Global Safety Net maps how expanded nature conservation addresses both overarching threats…

Simultaneously operating threats cannot predict extinction risk

  • Source: Conservation Letters
  • Author(s): Aaron Greenville et al.
  • Abstract Species afflicted by multiple threats are thought to face greater extinction risk. However, it is not known whether multiple threats operate antagonistically, additively, or synergistically, or whether they vary across different taxonomic and spatial scales. We addressed these questions by…

Urgent plea for global protection of springs

  • Source: Conservation Biology 
  • Author(s): Marco Cantonati et al.
  • Although abundant worldwide, many springs are disappearing or are impaired by local to global anthropogenic stressors…

Unprecedented reduction and quick recovery of the South Indian Ocean heat content and sea level in 2014-2018

  • Source: Science Advances
  • Author(s): Denis L. Volkov, Sang-Ki Lee, Arnold Gordon, Michael Rudko
  • Following the onset of the strong 2014–2016 El Niño, a decade-long increase of the basin-wide sea level and heat content in the subtropical southern Indian Ocean (SIO) in 2004–2013 ended with an unprecedented drop, which quickly recovered during the weak 2017–2018 La Niña. Here, we show that the 2014–2016 El Niño contributed to…

Implications of the World Bank’s environmental and social framework for biodiversity

  • Source: Conservation Letters
  • Author(s): Jonathan Morley, Graeme Buchanan, Edward Mitchard, Aidan Keane 
  • The World Bank is the single largest source of development finance, with wide‐reaching influence. The Bank’s safeguards aim to minimize the negative impacts of the projects it funds. These policies have recently been updated in a new Environmental and Social Framework. For conservation, the key changes include…

Community management yields positive impacts for coastal fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation

  • Source: Conservation Letters
  • Author(s): Patrick Smallhorn‐West et al.
  • Combining no‐take marine reserves with exclusive access by communities to unreserved waters could provide the required incentives for community management to achieve positive impacts. However, few protected areas have been critically evaluated for their impact, which involves…

Three Key considerations for biodiversity conservation in multilateral agreements

  • Source: Conservation Letters
  • Author(s): Michael Burgass et al.
  • Drawing on lessons from the implementation of the current strategic plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2010 Aichi Targets, we highlight three interlinked core areas, which require attention and improvement in the development of the post‐2020 Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity…

Butterfly effect and a self-modulating El Niño response to global warming

  • Source: Nature
  • Author(s): Wenju Cai et al.
  • Under greenhouse warming, climate models project an increase in the frequency of strong El Niño and La Niña events, but the change differs vastly across models, which is partially attributed to internal variability. Here we show that like a butterfly effect, an infinitesimal random perturbation to identical initial conditions induces vastly different initial ENSO variability, which systematically affects its response to greenhouse warming a century later…

An economic evaluation framework for land‐use‐based conservation policy instruments in a changing climate

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Charlotte Gerling,  Frank Wätzold
  • In order to conserve species under climate change, ecologists and conservation biologists suggest two main strategies regarding conservation with land‐use measures… The policy instruments that could be used to implement these conservation strategies have yet to be evaluated comprehensively from an economic perspective…

A method to develop a shared qualitative model of a complex system

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Katie Moon, Nicola Browne
  • Understanding complex systems is essential to ensure their conservation and management. Modelling has become a common tool for supporting our understanding of complex ecological systems and, by extension, their conservation. Modelling, however, is…

Global correlates of terrestrial and marine coverage by protected areas on islands

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): David Mouillot et al.
  • Here we assess the relative influence of climate, geography, habitat diversity, culture, resource capacity, and human footprint on terrestrial and marine protected area coverage across 2323 inhabited islands globally…

High sensitivity of Bering Sea winter sea ice to winter insolation and carbon dioxide over the last 5500 years

  • Source: Science Advances
  • Author(s): Miriam Jones, Max Berkelhammer, Katherine Keller, Kei Yoshimura, Matthew Wooller
  • Anomalously low winter sea ice extent and early retreat in CE 2018 and 2019 challenge previous notions that winter sea ice in the Bering Sea has been stable over the instrumental record, although long-term records remain limited…

The past and future human impact on mammalian diversity

  • Source: Science Advances
  • Authors: Tobias Andermann, Søren Faurby, Samuel Turvey, Alexandre Antonelli, Daniele Silvestro
  • To understand the current biodiversity crisis, it is crucial to determine how humans have affected biodiversity in the past. However, the extent of human involvement in species extinctions from the Late Pleistocene onward remains contentious. Here, we apply Bayesian models to the fossil record to estimate how mammalian extinction rates have changed over the past 126,000 years, inferring specific times of rate increases..

Hunting strategies to increase detection of chronic wasting disease in cervids

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): Atle Mysterud et al.
  • An alternative approach of ‘proactive hunting surveillance’ with the aim of early disease detection that simultaneously avoids undesirable population decline by targeting demographic groups with…

Identifying priority habitat for conservation and management of Australian humpback dolphins within a marine protected area

  • Source: Scientific Reports
  • Author(s): Tim Hunt, Simon Allen,  Lars Bejder, Guido Parra 
  • Increasing human activity along the coast has amplified the extinction risk of inshore delphinids. Informed selection and prioritisation of areas for the conservation of inshore delphinids requires a comprehensive understanding of their distribution and habitat use…

A new wave of marine fish invasions through the Panama and Suez canals

  • Source: Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Gustavo Castellanos-Galindo, Ross Robertson, Mark Torchin 
  • Recent engineered expansions of the Panama and Suez canals have accelerated the introduction of non-native marine fishes and other organisms between their adjacent waters. Measures to prevent further invasions through canals should be incorporated into global shipping policies, as well as through local efforts…

Mass mortality in freshwater mussels (Actinonaias pectorosa) in the Clinch River, USA, linked to a novel densovirus

  • Source: Science Reports
  • Author(s): Jordan Richard et al.
  • Freshwater mussels (order Unionida) are among the world’s most biodiverse but imperiled taxa. Recent unionid mass mortality events around the world threaten ecosystem services such as water filtration, nutrient cycling, habitat stabilization, and food web enhancement, but causes have remained elusive. To examine potential infectious causes of these declines, we studied mussels in…

Protect global supply chains for low-carbon technologies

  • Source: Nature
  • Author(s): Andreas Goldthau, Llewelyn Hughes
  • The COVID-19 economic crash threatens the international trade networks that make clean energy cheap — abandoning them puts the climate at risk…

Microbial carrying capacity and carbon biomass of plastic marine debris

  • Source: The ISME Journal
  • Author(s): Hiye Zhao, Erik Zettler, Linda Amaral-Zettler, Tracy J. Mincer 
  • Trillions of plastic debris fragments are floating at sea, presenting a substantial surface area for microbial colonization. Numerous cultivation-independent surveys have characterized plastic-associated microbial biofilms, however, quantitative studies addressing microbial carbon biomass are lacking…

Increased insect herbivore performance under elevated CO2 is associated with lower plant defence signalling and minimal declines in nutritional quality

  • Source: Scientific Reports
  • Author(s): Scott Johnson, Jamie Waterman, Casey Hall 
  • Changes in insect herbivore performance under elevated atmosphere carbon dioxide concentrations e[CO2] are often driven by changes in the nutritional and defensive chemistry of their host plants…

To hunt or to rest: prey depletion induces a novel starvation survival strategy in bacterial predators

  • Source: The ISME Journal 
  • Author(s): Rajesh Sathyamoorthy et al.
  • We show that starvation for prey significantly alters swimming patterns and causes exponential decay in prey-searching cells over hours, until population-wide swim-arrest…

A global biophysical typology of mangroves and its relevance for ecosystem structure and deforestation

  • Source: Scientific Reports
  • Author(s): Thomas Worthington et al.
  • Mangrove forests provide many ecosystem services but are among the world’s most threatened ecosystems. Mangroves vary substantially according to their geomorphic and sedimentary setting; while several conceptual frameworks describe these settings, their spatial distribution has not been quantified…

A realistic fish-habitat dataset to evaluate algorithms for underwater visual analysis

  • Source: Science Reports
  • Author(s): Alzayat Saleh et al.
  • Visual analysis of complex fish habitats is an important step towards sustainable fisheries for human consumption and environmental protection. Deep Learning methods have shown great promise for scene analysis when trained on large-scale datasets. However, current datasets for fish analysis tend to focus on the classification task within constrained, plain environments which do not capture the complexity of underwater fish habitats. To address this limitation…

Revised estimates of ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux are consistent with ocean carbon inventory

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): Andrew J. Watson et al.
  • The ocean is a sink for ~25% of the atmospheric CO2 emitted by human activities, an amount in excess of 2 petagrams of carbon per year (PgC yr−1). Time-resolved estimates of global ocean-atmosphere CO2 flux provide an important constraint on the global carbon budget. However, previous estimates of this flux…

Environmental stability impacts the differential sensitivity of marine microbiomes to increases in temperature and acidity

  • Source: The ISME Journal
  • Author(s): Zhao Wang et al.
  • Ambient conditions shape microbiome responses to both short- and long-duration environment changes through processes including physiological acclimation, compositional shifts, and evolution…

Emergent dispersal networks in dynamic wetlandscapes

  • Source: Scientific Reports
  • Author(s): Leonardo Bertassello, Antoine Aubeneau, Gianluca Botter, James Jawitz, P. Rao 
  • The connectivity among distributed wetlands is critical for aquatic habitat integrity and to maintain metapopulation biodiversity. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal fluctuations of wetlandscape connectivity driven by stochastic hydroclimatic forcing, conceptualizing wetlands as dynamic habitat nodes in dispersal networks…

The carbon opportunity cost of animal-sourced food production on land

  • Source: Nature Sustainability 
  • Author(s): Matthew Hayek, Helen Harwatt, William Ripple, Nathaniel Mueller 
  • Extensive land uses to meet dietary preferences incur a ‘carbon opportunity cost’ given the potential for carbon sequestration through ecosystem restoration…

Biogeography of marine giant viruses reveals their interplay with eukaryotes and ecological functions

  • Source: Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Hisashi Endo et al.
  • Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are ubiquitous in marine environments and infect diverse eukaryotes. However, little is known about their biogeography and ecology in the ocean…

Pesticide dosing must be guided by ecological principles

  • Source: Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Théotime Colin, Coline Monchanin, Mathieu Lihoreau, Andrew Barron 
  • Insecticide use could be reduced if dose recommendations move from a toxicological perspective (how much is needed to kill an insect pest) to an ecological perspective (how much is needed to protect a crop)…

Palaeoclimate ocean conditions shaped the evolution of corals and their skeletons through deep time

  • Source: Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Andrea M. Quattrini et al.
  • Identifying how past environmental conditions shaped the evolution of corals and their skeletal traits provides a framework for predicting their persistence and that of their non-calcifying relatives under impending global warming and ocean acidification…

Rubble Biodiversity Samplers: 3D‐printed coral models to standardize biodiversity censuses

  • Source: Methods in Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Kennedy Wolfe, Peter Mumby
  • Coral rubble is characterized by high microhabitat complexity, which is unresolved in sampling efforts. Yet, rubble can support the greatest density and diversity of metazoan taxa…

Addressing behavior in pollinator conservation policies to combat the implementation gap

  • Source: Conservation Biology
  • Author(s): Melissa Marselle,  Anne Turbe, Assaf Shwartz, Aletta Bonn, Agathe Colléony
  • Solutions for conserving biodiversity lie in changing people’s behavior. Ambitious international and national conservation policies frequently fail in effective implementation to mitigate biodiversity loss, as they rarely use behavior change theories. In this paper, we conduct a gap analysis of conservation behavior change interventions advocated in national conservation strategies using…

Current and projected global extent of marine built structures

  • Source: Nature Sustainability 
  • Author(s): A. Bugnot et al.
  • The sprawl of marine construction is one of the most extreme human modifications to global seascapes. Nevertheless, its global extent remains largely unquantified compared to that on land…

Adaptation of Human Enterovirus to Warm Environments Leads to Resistance against Chlorine Disinfection

  • Source: Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Author(s): Anna Carratalà, Virginie Bachmann, Timothy Julian, Tamar Kohn
  • Sunlight, temperature, and microbial grazing are among the environmental factors promoting the inactivation of viral pathogens in surface waters. Globally, these factors vary across time and space. The persistence of viral pathogens, and ultimately their ecology and dispersion, hinges on their ability to withstand the environmental conditions encountered…

Flexible genes establish widespread bacteriophage pan-genomes in cryoconite hole ecosystems

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): Christopher Bellas, Declan Schroeder, Arwyn Edwards, Gary Barker, Alexandre Anesio 
  • The interactions of viruses and their hosts have large-scale consequences for global carbon and nutrient cycling1,2, microbial population dynamics3 and the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobials4. Bacteriophage–host interactions in nutrient-rich culture often follow arms race dynamics, where successive generations of bacteria become increasingly resistant to past phages, and in turn…

Regional Carrying Capacities of Freshwater Consumption—Current Pressure and Its Sources

  • Source: Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Author(s): Masaharu Motoshita, Stephan Pfister, Matthias Finkbeiner
  • The concept of planetary boundaries evaluates whether the environmental loads from humans are within the carrying capacity of the environment at a global level, while the region-specific assessment of carrying capacities of freshwater consumption can complement the global-scale sustainability assessment by shedding light on regional sustainability…

Rare and common vertebrates span a wide spectrum of population trends

  • Source: Nature Communications
  • Author(s): Gergana Daskalova, Isla Myers-Smith, John Godlee 
  • The Earth’s biota is changing over time in complex ways. A critical challenge is to test whether specific biomes, taxa or types of species benefit or suffer in a time of accelerating global change…

Accelerating homogenization of the global plant–frugivore meta-network

  • Source: 
  • Author(s): Evan Fricke, Jens-Christian Svenning 
  • Introductions of species by humans are causing the homogenization of species composition across biogeographic barriers. The ecological and evolutionary consequences of introduced species derive from their effects on networks of species interactions, but we lack a quantitative understanding of the impacts of introduced species on ecological networks and their biogeographic patterns globally…

A changing climate is snuffing out post‐fire recovery in montane forests

  • Source: Global Ecology and Biogeography
  • Author(s): Kyle Rodman et al.
  • Climate warming is increasing fire activity in many of Earth’s forested ecosystems. Because fire is a catalyst for change, investigation of post‐fire vegetation response is critical to understanding the potential for future conversions from forest to non‐forest vegetation types…

Controls on the spatio-temporal distribution of microbialite crusts on the Great Barrier Reef over the past 30,000 years

  • Source: Marine Geology
  • Author(s): Zs. Szilagyi et al.
  • Calcification of microbial mats adds significant amounts of calcium carbonate to primary coral reef structures that stabilizes and binds reef frameworks. Previous studies have shown that the distribution and thicknesses of late Quaternary microbial crusts have responded to changes in environmental parameters such as seawater pH, carbonate saturation state, and sediment and nutrient fluxes. However, these studies are few and limited in their spatio-temporal coverage…

Opinion: Neonicotinoids pose undocumented threats to food webs

  • Source: PNAS
  • Author(s): S. Frank, J. Tooker
  • Since their introduction in the early 1990s, neonicotinoids have become the most widely used insecticides in the world. Their toxicity allows less active ingredients to be used and, compared with older classes of insecticides, they appear to have relatively low toxicity to vertebrates, particularly mammals. Neonicotinoids have been repeatedly called “perfect” for use in crop protection… Yet recent research calls this perfection into doubt as neonicotinoids have become widespread environmental contaminants causing unexpected nontarget effects…

Asphalt-related emissions are a major missing nontraditional source of secondary organic aerosol precursors

  • Source: Science Advances
  • Author(s): Peeyush Khare et al.
  • Asphalt-based materials are abundant and a major nontraditional source of reactive organic compounds in urban areas, but their emissions are essentially absent from inventories. At typical temperature and solar conditions simulating different life cycle stages (i.e., storage, paving, and use), common road and roofing asphalts produced complex mixtures of organic compounds, including hazardous pollutants…

Ecological pest control fortifies agricultural growth in Asia–Pacific economies

  • Source: Nature Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Kris Wyckhuys et al.
  • By placing agro-ecological innovations on equal footing with input-intensive measures, our work provides lessons for future efforts to mitigate invasive species, restore ecological resilience and sustainably raise output of global agrifood systems…

The Dual Isotopic Composition of Nitrate in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits

  • Source: JGR Oceans
  • Author(s): Samantha Howe, Carlos Miranda, Christophera Hayes, Robert Letscher, Angela Knapp
  • The Gulf of Mexico receives considerable riverine nutrient inputs that contribute to eutrophication of northern shelf waters. However, it is unclear whether a significant fraction of these riverine nutrients delivered to the Gulf of Mexico are subsequently exported from the Gulf, potentially influencing the chemistry of the North Atlantic…

Leveraging Motivations, Personality, and Sensory Cues for Vertebrate Pest Management

  • Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
  • Author(s): Patrick Garvey et al.
  • Managing vertebrate pests is a global conservation challenge given their undesirable socio-ecological impacts. Pest management often focuses on the ‘average’ individual, neglecting individual-level behavioural variation (‘personalities’) and differences in life histories. These differences affect…

An individual‐based model for the eco‐evolutionary emergence of bipartite interaction networks

  •  Source: Ecology Letters
  • Author(s): Odile Maliet, Nicolas Loeuille, Hélène Morlon
  • How ecological interaction networks emerge on evolutionary time scales remains unclear. Here we build an individual‐based eco‐evolutionary model for the emergence of mutualistic, antagonistic and neutral bipartite interaction networks…

Invertebrate community structure predicts natural pest control resilience to insecticide exposure

  •  Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Arran Greenop, Samantha Cook, Andrew Wilby, RichardPywell, Ben Woodcock
  • Biological pest control has become one of the central principles of ecological intensification in agriculture. However, invertebrate natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems are exposed to a myriad of different pesticides at both lethal and sublethal doses, that may limit their capacity…

Spatiotemporal variation in disturbance impacts derived from simultaneous tracking of aircraft and shorebirds

  • Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Henk‐Jan van der Kolk
  • Assessing impacts of disturbance over large areas and long time periods is crucial for nature management, but also challenging since impacts depend on both wildlife responses to disturbance and on the spatiotemporal distribution of disturbance sources. Combined tracking of animals and disturbance sources enables…

A framework to diagnose the causes of river ecosystem deterioration using biological symptoms

  • Source: Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Author(s): Christian Feld, Mohammadkarim Saeedghalati, Daniel Hering
  • Bayesian inference can greatly assist the diagnosis of potential causes of ecosystem deterioration based on a selection of diagnostic biological metrics. If integrated into a Bayesian network, symptoms and potential causes can be linked and inform management decisions on appropriate measures, to improve…

Community and structural constraints on the complexity of eastern North American forests

  • Source: Global Ecology and Biogeography
  • Author(s): Christopher Gough, Jeff Atkins, Robert Fahey, Brady Hardiman, Elizabeth LaRue
  • Canopy structural complexity, which describes the degree of heterogeneity in vegetation density, is strongly tied to a number of ecosystem functions, but the community and structural characteristics that give rise to variation in complexity at site to subcontinental scales are poorly defined…

Soil organic carbon turnover recovers faster than plant diversity in the grassland when high nitrogen addition is ceased: Derived from soil 14C evidences

  • Source: Global Ecology and Conservation
  • Author(s): Qiqi Tan et al.
  • Responses of terrestrial ecosystems to decreased nitrogen (N) deposition has brought considerable attention. Soil organic carbon (SOC) turnover is an important parameter in the terrestrial ecosystem model and ecosystem management. However, how SOC turnover responds to decreased N deposition has not yet been evaluated…

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