World Aquarium News
Researchers have succeeded in directly measuring three key parameters necessary for skeleton formation in a live tropical coral. This way, they completely characterized the carbonate chemistry at the site of calcification. [...]
Wed, Jan 16, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract Forests of the Americas and the Caribbean are undergoing rapid change as human populations increase and land use intensifies. We applied the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) criteria and simple cost‐efficiency analyses to provide the first regional perspective on patterns of relative risk integrated across multiple threats. Based on six indicators of ecosystem distribution and function, we find that 80% of the forest types and 85% of the current forest area is potentially threatened based on RLE criteria. Twelve forest types are Critically Endangered due to past or projected future deforestation, and Tropical Dry Forests and Woodland have highest [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Fish become anxious and more cautious when water quality is degraded by sediment, an effect that could stunt their growth and damage their health. [...]
Thu, Jan 10, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Although sunscreen is critical for preventing sunburns and skin cancer, some of its ingredients are not so beneficial to ocean-dwelling creatures. In particular, sunscreen chemicals shed by swimmers are thought to contribute to coral reef decline. Now, researchers say that one such chemical, octocrylene (OC), which is also in some cosmetics and hair products, accumulates in coral as fatty acid esters that could be toxic to the marine organism. [...]
Wed, Jan 09, 2019
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract In the last 30 years, islands and fenced exclosures free of introduced predators (collectively, havens) have become an increasingly used option for protecting Australian mammals imperiled by predation by introduced cats (Felis catus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes). However, Australia's network of havens is not expanding in a manner that maximizes representation of all predator‐susceptible taxa, because of continued emphasis on already‐represented taxa. Future additions to the haven network will improve representation of mammals most efficiently if they fill gaps in under‐represented predator‐susceptible taxa, particularly rodents. A systematic approach to expansion could protect at least one population of every Australian predator‐susceptible [...]
Thu, Jan 03, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Thu, Jan 03, 2019
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Many human populations are dependent on marine ecosystems for a range of benefits, but we understand little about where and to what degree people rely on these ecosystem services. We created a new conceptual model to map the degree of human dependence on marine ecosystems based on the magnitude of the benefit, susceptibility of people to a loss of that benefit, and the availability of alternatives. We focused on mapping nutritional, economic, and coastal protection dependence, but our model is repeatable, scalable, applicable to other ecosystems, and designed to incorporate additional services and data. Here we show that dependence was [...]
Wed, Dec 19, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract The links between plantation expansion and deforestation in Borneo are debated. We used satellite imagery to map annual loss of old‐growth forests, expansion of industrial plantations (oil palm and pulpwood), and their overlap in Borneo from 2001 to 2017. In 17 years, forest area declined by 14% (6.04 Mha), including 3.06 Mha of forest ultimately converted into industrial plantations. Plantations expanded by 170% (6.20 Mha: 88% oil palm; 12% pulpwood). Most forests converted to plantations were cleared and planted in the same year (92%; 2.83 Mha). Annual forest loss generally increased before peaking in 2016 (0.61 Mha) and declining sharply [...]
Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Systematic conservation planning and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are the two most widely used approaches for identifying important sites for biodiversity. However, there is limited advice for conservation policy makers and practitioners on when and how they should be combined. Here we provide such guidance, using insights from the recently developed Global Standard for the Identification of KBAs and the language of decision science to review and clarify their similarities and differences. We argue the two approaches are broadly similar, with both setting transparent environmental objectives and specifying actions. There is however greater contrast in the data used and actions [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Species at risk of extinction are not uniformly distributed in space. Concentrations of threatened species may occur where threatening processes are intense, in refuges from those processes, or in areas of high species diversity. However, there have been few attempts to identify the processes that explain the distribution of at‐risk species. Here, we identified the relative importance of biological traits, environmental factors, and anthropogenic stressors in driving the spatial patterns of both total and at‐risk species richness of North American mammals and birds. Environmental factors are the predominant drivers of both total and at‐risk species richness. Strikingly, the directions of [...]
Thu, Dec 13, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
A new study is starting to unravel that mystery. Researchers found that the soundscape of a reef -- the combined sounds of all animals living nearby -- might play a major role in steering corals towards healthy reef systems and away from damaged ones. [...]
Wed, Dec 12, 2018
Source Coral Reef News from Science Daily
Abstract Despite increasing recognition that integrating evolutionary theory into conservation decisions can achieve better long‐term outcomes, there has been little progress adapting management strategies. A commonly hypothesized barrier to better integration is poor understanding of evolutionary biology among conservation practitioners. To assess this claim, we surveyed conservation practitioners to determine their understanding of evolutionary concepts. We found that most practitioners had a good understanding of general concepts (evolution and genetic diversity), but a much poorer understanding of other relevant concepts. These findings suggest that knowledge is limiting the ability of conservation practitioners to effectively manage evolutionary processes. Encouragingly, practitioners educated in [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Climate‐related impacts to marine ecosystems threaten the biological, social, and economic resilience of the U.S. fishing industry. Changes in ocean conditions and variability in fisheries productivity have stimulated an effort to integrate climate information into fisheries science and management processes to inform more responsive decision‐making. However, institutional, capacity, and budget constraints within U.S. federal and state fisheries management agencies may hinder the potential to deliver climate‐ready strategies for many fisheries. We examine whether adaptive comanagement as a governance approach can enhance capacity and advance climate‐ready fisheries objectives. Adaptive comanagement may improve the quality of science and decision‐making needed to prepare [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters
Abstract Attitudes among conservation biologists toward technological innovations and solutions have changed over the years from mistrusting and dismissive to widely accepting. However, the time has come for the conservation community to move from being technology consumers to become innovation leaders and to actively seek to create novel technologies to provide conservation tools and solutions. This challenging but critical mind‐set change requires thinking outside the box to establish and support the necessary bridges between the conservation community, technologists in both the public and the private sectors, and policy makers. The ingredients already exist, but success hinges on an open mind to [...]
Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Source Conservation Letters