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  • Rewilding of Fukushima's human evacuation zone
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Phillip C Lyons; Kei Okuda; Matthew T Hamilton; Thomas G Hinton; James C Beasley

    There is substantial interest in understanding the ecological impacts of the nuclear accidents at the Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants. However, population‐level data for large mammals have been limited, and there remains much speculation regarding the status of wildlife species in these areas. Using a network of remote cameras placed along a gradient of radiological contamination and human presence, we collected data on population‐level impacts to wildlife (that is, abundance and occupancy patterns) following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. We found no evidence of population‐level impacts in mid‐ to large‐sized mammals or gallinaceous birds, and show several species were most abundant in human‐evacuated areas, despite the presence of radiological contamination. These data provide unique evidence of the natural rewilding of the Fukushima landscape following human abandonment, and suggest that if any effects of radiological exposure in mid‐ to large‐sized mammals in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone exist, they occur at individual or molecular scales, and do not appear to manifest in population‐level responses.

    更新日期:2020-01-06
  • Who studies where? Boosting tropical conservation research where it is most needed
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Ana L Reboredo Segovia; Donato Romano; Paul R Armsworth

    Despite the mounting threats that tropical ecosystems face, conservation in the tropics remains severely under‐researched relative to temperate systems. Efforts to address this knowledge gap have so far largely failed to analyze the relationship between an author's choice of study site and that author's country of origin. We examined factors that motivate both foreign and domestic scientists to conduct research in tropical countries, based on a sample of nearly 3000 tropical conservation research articles. Many barriers that have historically deterred foreign research effort appear to have been overcome, although US scientists still respond negatively to safety concerns and distance. The productivity of local scientists is affected by corruption and lack of institutional support. Both foreign and in‐country scientists are increasingly working in places with more listed threatened species, but many regions still lack adequate conservation research. Although foreign scientists could be attracted to less‐studied areas through targeted grants, the long‐term solution must be to train and employ more local scientists.

    更新日期:2020-01-06
  • Importance of Indigenous Peoples’ lands for the conservation of Intact Forest Landscapes
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    John E Fa; James EM Watson; Ian Leiper; Peter Potapov; Tom D Evans; Neil D Burgess; Zsolt Molnár; Álvaro Fernández‐Llamazares; Tom Duncan; Stephanie Wang; Beau J Austin; Harry Jonas; Cathy J Robinson; Pernilla Malmer; Kerstin K Zander; Micha V Jackson; Erle Ellis; Eduardo S Brondizio; Stephen T Garnett

    Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are critical strongholds for the environmental services that they provide, not least for their role in climate protection. On the basis of information about the distributions of IFLs and Indigenous Peoples’ lands, we examined the importance of these areas for conserving the world's remaining intact forests. We determined that at least 36% of IFLs are within Indigenous Peoples’ lands, making these areas crucial to the mitigation action needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. We also provide evidence that IFL loss rates have been considerably lower on Indigenous Peoples’ lands than on other lands, although these forests are still vulnerable to clearing and other threats. World governments must recognize Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including land tenure rights, to ensure that Indigenous Peoples play active roles in decision‐making processes that affect IFLs on their lands. Such recognition is critical given the urgent need to reduce deforestation rates in the face of escalating climate change and global biodiversity loss.

    更新日期:2020-01-06
  • Catalyzing fisheries conservation investment
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Timothy P Fitzgerald; Phoebe R Higgins; Emma Quilligan; Suresh A Sethi; John Tobin‐de la Puente

    Wild‐caught fish account for approximately one‐half of all seafood consumed globally, yet there is strong evidence that improved science and management are needed to ensure the biological, economic, and social sustainability of this critical food source. Presently, insufficient resources are allocated to achieve such sustainability, but conservation finance offers promising new sources of funding for this necessary endeavor. We surveyed the most recent literature on conservation finance and interviewed practitioners to identify key obstacles and solutions to advancing fisheries conservation investments. We found that obstacles constraining these investments are also common in other, more mature conservation sectors. Solutions developed in these sectors – namely, capacity building, novel investment vehicles, increased communication among stakeholders, and better metrics – could help to overcome barriers to investment. As fisheries sustainability improvements require cooperation across the sciences, business, and finance communities, we hope this article will spur interest among these diverse stakeholders and catalyze fisheries conservation investment.

    更新日期:2020-01-06
  • Citizen science in developing countries: how to improve volunteer participation
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Fabrice Requier; Georg KS Andersson; Facundo J Oddi; Lucas A Garibaldi

    Citizen science is a powerful tool for connecting members of the public with research and for obtaining large amounts of data. However, it is far less commonly implemented in developing countries than in developed countries. We conducted a large‐scale citizen‐science program monitoring honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony losses in Argentina to examine how a national consortium composed of local coordinators and two different recruitment strategies influenced volunteer participation. These strategies consisted of online questionnaires and face‐to‐face interviews with beekeepers to record bee health issues. We found that use of both recruitment strategies was necessary because they reached different volunteer profiles and different locations, and therefore influenced the survey's results. Furthermore, public participation increased when the number of local coordinators was higher, regardless of recruitment strategy. These findings could also apply to other developing countries, where lack of internet access for some potential volunteers, logistical constraints such as long distances, and poor infrastructure hamper implementing large‐scale citizen‐science programs.

    更新日期:2020-01-06
  • Crowd‐sourced data reveal social–ecological mismatches in phenology driven by climate
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Ian K Breckheimer, Elli J Theobald, Nicoleta C Cristea, Anna K Wilson, Jessica D Lundquist, Regina M Rochefort, Janneke HilleRisLambers

    Shifts in phenology that are driven by climate change have substantial impacts on ecosystems, but the effects of these ecological shifts on coupled social–ecological systems remain largely unexplored. Using a large database of crowd‐sourced photographs from the image‐hosting website Flickr, we show that early snow disappearance conditions similar to those expected by the late 21st century cause the seasonal peak of human visitation at Mount Rainier National Park (NP) to become mismatched from the seasonal peak of wildflower displays, a key visitor draw. Our work indicates that these mismatches between social and ecological systems were a product of both visitor behavior and management constraints, and could fundamentally alter visitor experiences in iconic natural areas like Mount Rainier NP. Recent dramatic growth in the volume of georeferenced citizen‐based observations and the increased availability of high‐resolution climate data will soon make it feasible to examine how climate affects social–ecological mismatches at very large spatial scales.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Hotspots of nitrogen deposition in the world's urban areas: a global data synthesis
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Stephen M Decina, Lucy R Hutyra, Pamela H Templer

    Human activities have altered the global nitrogen (N) cycle, elevating rates of atmospheric N deposition up to tenfold above pre‐industrial levels, with consequences for ecosystem function and human health. To date, most N deposition studies have been carried out in rural areas; however, there has been a recent surge of N deposition studies conducted in urban ecosystems due to the increased recognition that humans are greatly altering the N cycle in these environments. We synthesized data from 174 publications over a period of 40 years that examined rates of N deposition in urban and nearby rural areas worldwide. Results of this meta‐analysis help to quantify urban N deposition, demonstrate that total N deposition in cities is predominately composed of chemically reduced – as opposed to oxidized – forms of N like ammonia, and identify regional hotspots of urban N deposition, particularly in China. These findings highlight the need to examine and address the N cycle in cities as the world continues to urbanize.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Back to the future: rethinking socioecological systems underlying high nature value farmlands
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Angela Lomba, Francisco Moreira, Sebastian Klimek, Robert HG Jongman, Caroline Sullivan, James Moran, Xavier Poux, João P Honrado, Teresa Pinto‐Correia, Tobias Plieninger, David I McCracken

    Farmlands are currently among the dominant uses of the land. When managed under low‐input farming systems, farmlands are associated with diverse cultural and natural heritages around the world. Known in Europe as high nature value (HNV) farmlands, these agricultural landscapes and their associated farming systems evolved as tightly coupled socioecological systems, and are essential to biodiversity conservation and the delivery of ecosystem services to society. However, HNV farmlands are vulnerable to socioeconomic changes that lead to either agricultural intensification or land abandonment. We present a range of plausible future scenarios for HNV farmlands, and discuss the related management options and expected socioecological outcomes for each scenario. We then provide recommendations for policy, practice, and research on how to best ensure the socioecological viability of HNV farming systems in the future.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Successful molecular detection studies require clear communication among diverse research partners
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Brittany A Mosher, Riley F Bernard, Jeffrey M Lorch, David AW Miller, Katherine LD Richgels, C LeAnn White, Evan H Campbell Grant

    Molecular detection techniques are powerful tools used in ecological applications ranging from diet analyses to pathogen surveillance. Research partnerships that use these tools often involve collaboration among professionals with expertise in field biology, laboratory techniques, quantitative modeling, wildlife disease, and natural resource management. However, in many cases, each of these collaborators lacks specific knowledge about the approaches, decisions, methods, and terminology used by their research partners, which can impede effective communication and act as a barrier to the efficient use of molecular data for ecological inferences and subsequent conservation decision making. We outline a collaborative framework to assist colleagues with diverse types of expertise to effectively translate their scientific and management needs to research partners from other specialties. The molecular techniques used to detect organisms will continue to advance both in sophistication and in the breadth of ecological applications. Our objective is to enable ecologists to harness the full utility of these methods by developing effective collaborative partnerships.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Conserving transboundary wildlife migrations: recent insights from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Arthur D Middleton, Hall Sawyer, Jerod A Merkle, Matthew J Kauffman, Eric K Cole, Sarah R Dewey, Justin A Gude, David D Gustine, Douglas E McWhirter, Kelly M Proffitt, PJ White

    Animal migrations are ecologically, culturally, and economically important. Ungulate populations in many parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas migrate long distances to access seasonally available resources, traversing vast landscapes in large numbers. Yet some migrations are declining, raising concerns among scientists and natural resource managers. We synthesize recent advances in ungulate migration ecology with relevance to management and policy. Using case studies from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), we show how new tools can be applied to map ungulate migrations and assess threats across multiple seasonal habitats, serving as a conservation roadmap. To help conserve ungulate migrations, we also propose a transboundary science, policy, and management framework that could be adapted beyond the GYE and that encompasses the needs of multiple species. The key elements of this framework consist of more widespread mapping and assessment of migrations, improved federal and state coordination across jurisdictional lines, increased investment in private land conservation, and strong engagement of local stakeholders positioned to sustain conservation activities over the long term.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Natural variation in coral reef trophic structure across environmental gradients
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Adel Heenan, Gareth J Williams, Ivor D Williams

    Policies designed to address current challenges to the sustainability of fisheries generally use an ecosystem‐based approach – one that incorporates interactions between fishes, fishers, and the environment. Fishing alters the trophic structure among coral reef fish but properly assessing those impacts requires an understanding of how and why that structure varies naturally across scales. Using a combination of small‐ and large‐scale surveys, we generated biomass pyramids for 20 uninhabited Pacific islands, and found that (1) the distribution of reef fish biomass across trophic levels is highly scale dependent: trophic structures that appear top‐heavy at small scales can take a variety of different states when data are integrated across the broader seascape; (2) reefs can have the greatest biomass at intermediate consumer levels, which we describe as “middle‐driven” systems; and (3) in unfished coral reef systems, trophic structure is strongly predicted by energy into the base and middle of the food web, as well as by the interacting effect of water temperature.

    更新日期:2019-12-09
  • Anthropogenic mortality in mammals increases with the human footprint
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Jacob E Hill, Travis L DeVault, Guiming Wang, Jerrold L Belant

    Over the Earth's terrestrial surface, wildlife species are adversely affected by an increasing number of anthropogenic impacts to the landscape, collectively termed the “human footprint”. However, there is limited understanding of how the human footprint influences cause‐specific mortality in wildlife. We conducted a synthesis of cause‐specific mortality of North American terrestrial mammals, compiling 247 studies that as a group determined the cause of death of 6607 adult mammals among 19,910 individuals monitored. Species lifespan as well as the interaction between lifespan and the human footprint were positively associated with the proportion of mortality attributed to anthropogenic sources. Our results indicate that anthropogenic mortality in mammals increases with increasing human‐associated impacts on the landscape, and that longer‐lived species are affected more than their shorter‐lived counterparts. This pattern likely accounts for the extirpation of longer‐lived, larger‐bodied mammals from many human‐dominated areas. We also found that as the human footprint increased in magnitude, harvest mortality declined while vehicle mortality increased. These shifts in mortality can have substantial implications for understanding wildlife population dynamics and managing wildlife populations across landscapes impacted by anthropogenic activities.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • City sicker? A meta‐analysis of wildlife health and urbanization
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Maureen H Murray, Cecilia A Sánchez, Daniel J Becker, Kaylee A Byers, Katherine EL Worsley‐Tonks, Meggan E Craft

    Urban development can alter resource availability, land use, and community composition, which, in turn, influences wildlife health. Generalizable relationships between wildlife health and urbanization have yet to be quantified and could vary across different measures of health and among species. We present a phylogenetic meta‐analysis of 516 comparisons of the toxicant loads, parasitism, body condition, or stress of urban and non‐urban wildlife populations reported in 106 studies spanning 81 species in 30 countries. We found a small but significant negative relationship between urbanization and wildlife health, driven by considerably higher toxicant loads and greater parasite abundance, greater parasite diversity, and/or greater likelihood of infection by parasites transmitted through close contact. Invertebrates and amphibians were particularly affected, with urban populations having higher toxicant loads and greater physiological stress than their non‐urban counterparts. We also found strong geographic and taxonomic bias in research effort, highlighting future research needs. Our results suggest that some types of health risks are more pronounced for wildlife in urban areas, which could have important implications for conservation.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • Quantifying the contribution of citizen science to broad‐scale ecological databases
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Autumn C Poisson, Ian M McCullough, Kendra S Cheruvelil, Kevin C Elliott, Jo A Latimore, Patricia A Soranno

    Ecological research increasingly relies on broad‐scale databases containing information collected by personnel from a variety of sources, including government agencies, universities, and citizen‐science programs. However, the contribution of citizen‐science programs to these databases is not well known. We analyzed one such database to quantify the contribution of citizen science to lake water‐quality data from seven US states. Citizen‐science programs not only provided over half of the observations for commonly sampled water‐quality measures (water clarity, nutrients, and algal biomass) from the past 31 years, but also contributed to the majority of long‐term monitoring (>15 years) for selected measures in lakes. While previous studies have demonstrated the usefulness of citizen science for research, management, policy, and public engagement, our study demonstrates that citizen science can also make valuable contributions to populating broad‐scale ecological databases. Strengthening partnerships between citizen‐science programs and monitoring agencies can help maintain and expand spatial and temporal data coverage during the “big data” era of ecology.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • Marine top predators as climate and ecosystem sentinels
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Elliott L Hazen, Briana Abrahms, Stephanie Brodie, Gemma Carroll, Michael G Jacox, Matthew S Savoca, Kylie L Scales, William J Sydeman, Steven J Bograd

    The rapid pace of environmental change in the Anthropocene necessitates the development of a new suite of tools for measuring ecosystem dynamics. Sentinel species can provide insight into ecosystem function, identify hidden risks to human health, and predict future change. As sentinels, marine apex (top) predators offer a unique perspective into ocean processes, given that they can move across ocean basins and amplify trophic information across multiple spatiotemporal scales. Because use of the terms “ecosystem sentinel” and “climate sentinel” has proliferated in the scientific literature, there is a need to identify the properties that make marine predators effective sentinels. We provide a clear definition of the term “sentinel”, review the attributes of species identified as sentinels, and describe how a suite of such sentinels could strengthen our understanding and management of marine ecosystems. We contend that the use of marine predators as ecosystem sentinels will enable rapid response and adaptation to ecosystem variability and change.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • Climate risks to Amazon agriculture suggest a rationale to conserve local ecosystems
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Marcos H Costa, Leonardo C Fleck, Avery S Cohn, Gabriel M Abrahão, Paulo M Brando, Michael T Coe, Rong Fu, Deborah Lawrence, Gabrielle F Pires, Raphael Pousa, Britaldo S Soares‐Filho

    In southern Amazonia, more than half of all cropland is devoted to the production of two rainfed crops per year, an agricultural practice known as “double cropping” (DC). Climate change, including feedbacks between changes in land use and the local climate, is shortening the extent of the historical rainy season in southern Amazonia, increasing the risk of future detrimental environmental conditions, and posing a threat to the intensive DC agriculture that is currently practiced in that region, with potential negative consequences at regional, national, and even global scales. We argue that the conservation of undeveloped forests and savannas in southern Amazonia is supported by socioeconomic justifications and is in the best interests of agribusiness, local governments, and the public.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • Satellites will address critical science priorities for quantifying ocean carbon
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-11-04
    Jamie D Shutler, Rik Wanninkhof, Philip D Nightingale, David K Woolf, Dorothee CE Bakker, Andy Watson, Ian Ashton, Thomas Holding, Bertrand Chapron, Yves Quilfen, Chris Fairall, Ute Schuster, Masakatsu Nakajima, Craig J Donlon

    The ability to routinely quantify global carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption by the oceans has become crucial: it provides a powerful constraint for establishing global and regional carbon (C) budgets, and enables identification of the ecological impacts and risks of this uptake on the marine environment. Advances in understanding, technology, and international coordination have made it possible to measure CO2 absorption by the oceans to a greater degree of accuracy than is possible in terrestrial landscapes. These advances, combined with new satellite‐based Earth observation capabilities, increasing public availability of data, and cloud computing, provide important opportunities for addressing critical knowledge gaps. Furthermore, Earth observation in synergy with in‐situ monitoring can provide the large‐scale ocean monitoring that is necessary to support policies to protect ocean ecosystems at risk, and motivate societal shifts toward meeting C emissions targets; however, sustained effort will be needed.

    更新日期:2019-11-04
  • Ecological theory to enhance infectious disease control and public health policy.
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2005-02-01
    Katherine F Smith,Andrew P Dobson,F Ellis McKenzie,Leslie A Real,David L Smith,Mark L Wilson

    Through the work of international public health organizations and advancements in the biological and technological sciences, substantial progress has been made in our ability to prevent, control, locally eliminate, and in one case eradicate infectious diseases. Yet each successful control or local elimination has been met with the emergence of new pathogens, the evolution of novel strains, or different epidemiological circumstances that have limited or reversed control methods. To respond to the increasing threat of emerging infectious diseases and bioterrorism it is vital that we design and implement efficient programs that prevent and control infectious pathogen transmission. The theoretical tools of ecology and epidemiology may be the cornerstone in constructing future programs aimed at preventing and controlling infectious diseases throughout the world.

    更新日期:2019-11-01
  • Integrating geographically isolated wetlands into land management decisions.
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2017-08-01
    Heather E Golden,Irena F Creed,Genevieve Ali,Nandita B Basu,Brian P Neff,Mark C Rains,Daniel L McLaughlin,Laurie C Alexander,Ali A Ameli,Jay R Christensen,Grey R Evenson,Charles N Jones,Charles R Lane,Megan Lang

    Wetlands across the globe provide extensive ecosystem services. However, many wetlands - especially those surrounded by uplands, often referred to as geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs) - remain poorly protected. Protection and restoration of wetlands frequently requires information on their hydrologic connectivity to other surface waters, and their cumulative watershed-scale effects. The integration of measurements and models can supply this information. However, the types of measurements and models that should be integrated are dependent on management questions and information compatibility. We summarize the importance of GIWs in watersheds and discuss what wetland connectivity means in both science and management contexts. We then describe the latest tools available to quantify GIW connectivity and explore crucial next steps to enhancing and integrating such tools. These advancements will ensure that appropriate tools are used in GIW decision making and maintaining the important ecosystem services that these wetlands support.

    更新日期:2019-11-01
  • Urban ecology in a developing world: why advanced socioecological theory needs Africa.
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2014-06-04
    Melissa R McHale,David N Bunn,Steward Ta Pickett,Wayne Twine

    Socioecological theory, developed through the study of urban environments, has recently led to a proliferation of research focusing on comparative analyses of cities. This research emphasis has been concentrated in the more developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere (often referred to as the "Global North"), yet urbanization is now occurring mostly in the developing world, with the fastest rates of growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Countries like South Africa are experiencing a variety of land-cover changes that may challenge current assumptions about the differences between urban and rural environments and about the connectivity of these dynamic socioecological systems. Furthermore, questions concerning ecosystem services, landscape preferences, and conservation - when analyzed through rural livelihood frameworks - may provide insights into the social and ecological resilience of human settlements. Increasing research on urban development processes occurring in Africa, and on patterns of kinship and migration in the less developed countries of the "Global South", will advance a more comprehensive worldview of how future urbanization will influence the progress of sustainable societies.

    更新日期:2019-11-01
  • From superspreaders to disease hotspots: linking transmission across hosts and space.
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2013-03-14
    Sara H Paull,Sejin Song,Katherine M McClure,Loren C Sackett,A Marm Kilpatrick,Pieter T J Johnson

    Since the identification and imprisonment of "Typhoid Mary," a woman who infected at least 47 people with typhoid in the early 1900s, epidemiologists have recognized that 'superspreading' hosts play a key role in disease epidemics. Such variability in transmission also exists among species within a community (amplification hosts) and among habitat patches across a landscape (disease 'hotspots'), underscoring the need for an integrative framework for studying transmission heterogeneity. Here, we synthesize literature on human, plant, and animal diseases to evaluate the relative contributions of host, pathogen, and environmental factors in driving transmission heterogeneity across hosts and space. We show that host and spatial heterogeneity are closely linked and that quantitatively assessing the contribution of infectious individuals, species, or environmental patches to overall transmission can aid management strategies. We conclude by posing hypotheses regarding how pathogen natural history influences transmission heterogeneity and highlight emerging frontiers in the study of transmission heterogeneity.

    更新日期:2019-11-01
  • A world without parasites: exploring the hidden ecology of infection.
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2015-10-01
    Chelsea L Wood,Pieter Tj Johnson

    Parasites have historically been considered a scourge, deserving of annihilation. Although parasite eradications rank among humanity's greatest achievements, new research is shedding light on the collateral effects of parasite loss. Here, we explore a "world without parasites": a thought experiment for illuminating the ecological roles that parasites play in ecosystems. While there is robust evidence for the effects of parasites on host individuals (eg affecting host vital rates), this exercise highlights how little we know about the influence of parasites on communities and ecosystems (eg altering energy flow through food webs). We present hypotheses for novel, interesting, and general effects of parasites. These hypotheses are largely untested, and should be considered a springboard for future research. While many uncertainties exist, the available evidence suggests that a world without parasites would be very different from the world we know, with effects extending from host individuals to populations, communities, and even ecosystems.

    更新日期:2019-11-01
  • Identifying technology solutions to bring conservation into the innovation era
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-10-02
    Gwenllian Iacona, Anurag Ramachandra, Jennifer McGowan, Alasdair Davies, Lucas Joppa, Lian Pin Koh, Eric Fegraus, Edward Game, Gurutzeta Guillera‐Arroita, Rob Harcourt, Karlina Indraswari, José J Lahoz‐Monfort, Jessica L Oliver, Hugh P Possingham, Adrian Ward, David W Watson, James EM Watson, Brendan A Wintle, Iadine Chadès

    Innovation has the potential to enable conservation science and practice to keep pace with the escalating threats to global biodiversity, but this potential will only be realized if such innovations are designed and developed to fulfill specific needs and solve well‐defined conservation problems. We propose that business‐world strategies for assessing the practicality of innovation can be applied to assess the viability of innovations, such as new technology, for addressing biodiversity conservation challenges. Here, we outline a five‐step, “lean start‐up” based approach for considering conservation innovation from a business‐planning perspective. Then, using three prominent conservation initiatives – Marxan (software), Conservation Drones (technology support), and Mataki (wildlife‐tracking devices) – as case studies, we show how considering proposed initiatives from the perspective of a conceptual business model can support innovative technologies in achieving desired conservation outcomes.

    更新日期:2019-10-10
  • Using chemical language to shape future marine health
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-10-02
    Mahasweta Saha, Elisa Berdalet, Ylenia Carotenuto, Patrick Fink, Tilmann Harder, Uwe John, Fabrice Not, Georg Pohnert, Philippe Potin, Erik Selander, Wim Vyverman, Thomas Wichard, Valerio Zupo, Michael Steinke

    “Infochemicals” (information‐conveying chemicals) dominate much of the underwater communication in biological systems. They influence the movement and behavior of organisms, the ecological interactions between and across populations, and the trophic structure of marine food webs. However, relative to their terrestrial equivalents, the wider ecological and economic importance of marine infochemicals remains understudied and a concerted, cross‐disciplinary effort is needed to reveal the full potential of marine chemical ecology. We highlight current challenges with specific examples and suggest how research on the chemical ecology of marine organisms could provide opportunities for implementing new management solutions for future “blue growth” (the sustainable use of ocean resources) and maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.

    更新日期:2019-10-10
  • Anthropogenic noise in US national parks – sources and spatial extent
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-10-02
    Rachel T Buxton, Megan F McKenna, Daniel Mennitt, Emma Brown, Kurt Fristrup, Kevin R Crooks, Lisa M Angeloni, George Wittemyer

    In an era of unprecedented environmental change, US national parks are refuges of natural ecosystems and facilitate connections between humans and nature. However, anthropogenic noise is an increasingly pervasive threat in these parks. To diagnose noise levels and sources, we analyzed thousands of hours of acoustic recordings collected across park units and summarized results from continental‐scale sound models. We found that anthropogenic noise was audible in 37% of park recordings, and that parks with high road density and those in close proximity to large airports experienced a greater number of noise events. The most common noise sources were aircraft and road vehicles, but, when present, trains and watercraft generated the loudest noise levels. Sound models show that anthropogenic noise caused a tenfold increase in median sound levels in 36% of parks, and loud areas were often localized. Our analysis identifies situations where noise management would yield the greatest benefits to park visitors and wildlife.

    更新日期:2019-10-10
  • Energy development reveals blind spots for ecosystem conservation in the Amazon Basin
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-10-02
    Elizabeth P Anderson, Tracey Osborne, Javier A Maldonado‐Ocampo, Megan Mills‐Novoa, Leandro Castello, Mariana Montoya, Andrea C Encalada, Clinton N Jenkins

    Energy development – as manifested by the proliferation of hydroelectric dams and increased oil and gas exploration – is a driver of change in Amazonian ecosystems. However, prevailing approaches to Amazonian ecosystem conservation that focus on terrestrial protected areas and Indigenous territories do not offer sufficient insurance against the risks associated with energy development. Here, we explore three related areas of concern: the exclusion of subsurface rights on Indigenous lands; the absence of frameworks for freshwater ecosystem conservation; and downgrading, downsizing, degazettement (loss of protection), and reclassification of protected areas. We consider these issues from the perspectives of multiple countries across the Amazon Basin, and link them directly to energy development. Finally, we offer suggestions for addressing the challenges of energy development for Amazon ecosystem conservation through existing policies, new approaches, and international collaboration.

    更新日期:2019-10-10
  • Non‐native species are a global issue for marine protected areas
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-09-03
    Josephine C Iacarella, Dominique Saheed, Anya Dunham, Natalie C Ban

    The global extent of marine protected areas (MPAs) is increasing as nations strive to meet UN conservation targets, yet non‐native species (NNS) are a critically overlooked stressor that threatens MPA conservation goals. Despite evidence that marine NNS affect protected species and habitats, there is limited understanding of the pervasiveness of this threat and the extent to which resource managers are responding to it. We disseminated a questionnaire targeting MPA practitioners and scientists to determine the overall state of knowledge and perception of NNS in MPAs. We received 151 responses from individuals in 47 countries and territories, including a total of 116 MPAs of which 73 were reported to have NNS present. Although NNS are a prevalent issue in MPAs and are the subject of some monitoring, management, and research, preventative measures are largely absent, so that more focused attention on NNS will be required to achieve conservation goals.

    更新日期:2019-09-04
  • Side‐swiped: ecological cascades emanating from earthworm invasions
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-08-28
    Lee E Frelich, Bernd Blossey, Erin K Cameron, Andrea Dávalos, Nico Eisenhauer, Timothy Fahey, Olga Ferlian, Peter M Groffman, Evan Larson, Scott R Loss, John C Maerz, Victoria Nuzzo, Kyungsoo Yoo, Peter B Reich

    Non‐native, invasive earthworms are altering soils throughout the world. Ecological cascades emanating from these invasions stem from rapid consumption of leaf litter by earthworms. This occurs at a midpoint in the trophic pyramid, unlike the more familiar bottom‐up or top‐down cascades. These cascades cause fundamental changes (“microcascade effects”) in soil morphology, bulk density, and nutrient leaching, and a shift to warmer, drier soil surfaces with a loss of leaf litter. In North American temperate and boreal forests, microcascade effects can affect carbon sequestration, disturbance regimes, soil and water quality, forest productivity, plant communities, and wildlife habitat, and can facilitate other invasive species. These broader‐scale changes (“macrocascade effects”) are of greater concern to society. Interactions among these fundamental changes and broader‐scale effects create “cascade complexes” that interact with climate change and other environmental processes. The diversity of cascade effects, combined with the vast area invaded by earthworms, leads to regionally important changes in ecological functioning.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • Plants in the city: understanding recruitment dynamics in urban landscapes
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-08-28
    Max R Piana, Myla FJ Aronson, Steward TA Pickett, Steven N Handel

    In cities, naturally regenerating plant populations are critical in sustaining both ecological function and ecosystem services. However, scientists have a limited understanding of the urban ecosystem conditions and stressors that influence basic life‐history processes and constraints for plant populations. Here, we synthesize current research on the recruitment dynamics of urban plants (processes associated with adding individuals to populations) and present a conceptual framework for urban recruitment limitation. From grasslands to forests, and from natural to constructed habitats, multiple urban drivers – including climate, land‐cover change, pollution, and biotic invasions – affect plant recruitment. These drivers often interact, and their effects are frequently species‐, habitat‐, or region‐specific. Furthering a “mechanistic” understanding (one that focuses on the underlying ecological mechanisms of observed phenomena) of how these drivers alter plant population dynamics will improve the conservation, management, and restoration of urban greenspaces.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • Surrogacy in invasion research and management: inferring “impact” from “invasiveness”
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-08-28
    Luke S O'Loughlin, Ben Gooden, Jacob N Barney, David B Lindenmayer

    Biological invasions are known drivers of biodiversity decline, yet the ecological impacts of invaders remain largely unmeasured in many contexts. Consequently, other measures of a species invasion (eg local abundance) are often used as surrogates (or “proxies”) to infer impact on recipient ecosystems. However, the use of surrogates for impact in invasion science and management is often implicit, and frequently lacks the evaluation and validation that characterize surrogate use in other fields. Although there are practical reasons for this, the risks associated with not testing the accuracy, stability, and certainty of surrogates for invasive species impact must be acknowledged. Recognizing the role of surrogacy in invasion science offers previously unappreciated solutions for increasing the quantitative rigor of invasive species impact assessments that inform management decisions.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • Twenty‐five years of the Northwest Forest Plan: what have we learned?
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-08-28
    Thomas A Spies, Jonathan W Long, Susan Charnley, Paul F Hessburg, Bruce G Marcot, Gordon H Reeves, Damon B Lesmeister, Matthew J Reilly, Lee K Cerveny, Peter A Stine, Martin G Raphael

    The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) has guided the management of 17 federal forests in the US Pacific Northwest for the past 25 years. The existing management plans for these national forests – which were amended by the NWFP – are now being evaluated for revision under the US Forest Service's 2012 planning rule. To help inform federal land managers, we reviewed the scientific literature published since the inception of the NWFP and report several key findings: (1) conservation of at‐risk species within national forests is challenging in the face of threats that are beyond the control of federal managers, (2) management efforts to promote resilience to wildfire and climate change include restoring dynamics and structure at multiple scales and revisiting reserve design, (3) forest restoration can have an ecological and socioeconomic win–win outcome, (4) human communities benefit from many ecosystem services beyond the supply of timber, (5) collaboration among multiple stakeholders is essential for achieving ecological and socioeconomic goals, and (6) monitoring and adaptive management are crucial to learning about and addressing uncertainty.

    更新日期:2019-08-29
  • Researcher engagement in policy deemed societally beneficial yet unrewarded
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-30
    Gerald G Singh, Vinicius F Farjalla, Bing Chen, Andrew E Pelling, Elvan Ceyhan, Martin Dominik, Eva Alisic, Jeremy Kerr, Noelle E Selin, Ghada Bassioni, Elena Bennett, Andrew H Kemp, Kai MA Chan

    Maintaining the continued flow of benefits from science, as well as societal support for science, requires sustained engagement between the research community and the general public. On the basis of data from an international survey of 1092 participants (634 established researchers and 458 students) in 55 countries and 315 research institutions, we found that institutional recognition of engagement activities is perceived to be undervalued relative to the societal benefit of those activities. Many researchers report that their institutions do not reward engagement activities despite institutions’ mission statements promoting such engagement. Furthermore, institutions that actually measure engagement activities do so only to a limited extent. Most researchers are strongly motivated to engage with the public for selfless reasons, which suggests that incentives focused on monetary benefits or career progress may not align with researchers’ values. If institutions encourage researchers’ engagement activities in a more appropriate way – by moving beyond incentives – they might better achieve their institutional missions and bolster the crucial contributions of researchers to society.

    更新日期:2019-07-30
  • Determining natal origin for improved management of Atlantic bluefin tuna
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-30
    Naiara Rodríguez‐Ezpeleta, Natalia Díaz‐Arce, John F Walter, David E Richardson, Jay R Rooker, Leif Nøttestad, Alex R Hanke, James S Franks, Simeon Deguara, Matthew V Lauretta, Piero Addis, Jose Luis Varela, Igaratza Fraile, Nicolas Goñi, Noureddine Abid, Francisco Alemany, Isik K Oray, Joseph M Quattro, Fambaye N Sow, Tomoyuki Itoh, F Saadet Karakulak, Pedro J Pascual‐Alayón, Miguel N Santos, Yohei Tsukahara, Molly Lutcavage, Jean‐Marc Fromentin, Haritz Arrizabalaga

    Effective sustainable management of marine fisheries requires that assessed management units (that is, fish stocks) correspond to biological populations. This issue has long been discussed in the context of Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT, Thunnus thynnus) management, which currently considers two unmixed stocks but does not take into account how individuals born in each of the two main spawning grounds (Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea) mix in feeding aggregations throughout the Atlantic Ocean. Using thousands of genome‐wide molecular markers obtained from larvae and young of the year collected at the species’ main spawning grounds, we provide what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first direct genetic evidence for “natal homing” in ABFT. This has facilitated the development of an accurate, cost‐effective, and non‐invasive tool for tracing the genetic origin of ABFT that allows for the assignment of catches to their population of origin, which is crucial for ensuring that ABFT management is based on biologically meaningful stock units rather than simply on catch location.

    更新日期:2019-07-30
  • A long‐term assessment of raptor displacement at a wind farm
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-30
    Regan Dohm, Christopher S Jennelle, Julie C Garvin, David Drake

    Wind energy development is advancing rapidly, but the potential ramifications of this growth on wildlife, particularly birds and bats, are not fully understood. Wind energy development may affect raptor (birds of prey) populations indirectly by displacing them from their previously occupied habitat; however, there are limited empirical data demonstrating this effect. We performed long‐term raptor surveys at a wind farm previously implicated in the displacement of resident raptors and found that the duration of displacement varied among raptor species. Abundances of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), red‐tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and accipiters (sharp‐shinned hawks [Accipiter striatus] and Cooper's hawks [Accipiter cooperii] combined) all rebounded in years 7 and 8 of wind farm operation, while the apparent displacement of northern harriers (Circus hudsonius) and American kestrels (Falco sparverius) persisted across all post‐construction monitoring periods. Our long‐term assessment indicates not only that wind farm construction and operation may displace raptors but also that these impacts can diminish over time for certain species. This finding underscores the importance of assessing potential impacts over the operational life of a given wind farm and the need for long‐term monitoring to validate predicted impacts, particularly for raptor communities.

    更新日期:2019-07-30
  • Coral reef ecosystem functioning: eight core processes and the role of biodiversity
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-30
    Simon J Brandl, Douglas B Rasher, Isabelle M Côté, Jordan M Casey, Emily S Darling, Jonathan S Lefcheck, J Emmett Duffy

    Coral reefs are in global decline. Reversing this trend is a primary management objective but doing so depends on understanding what keeps reefs in desirable states (ie “functional”). Although there is evidence that coral reefs thrive under certain conditions (eg moderate water temperatures, limited fishing pressure), the dynamic processes that promote ecosystem functioning and its internal drivers (ie community structure) are poorly defined and explored. Specifically, despite decades of research suggesting a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across biomes, few studies have explored this relationship in coral reef systems. We propose a practical definition of coral reef functioning, centered on eight complementary ecological processes: calcium carbonate production and bioerosion, primary production and herbivory, secondary production and predation, and nutrient uptake and release. Connecting research on species niches, functional diversity of communities, and rates of the eight key processes can provide a novel, quantitative understanding of reef functioning and its dependence on coral reef communities that will chart the transition of coral reefs in the Anthropocene. This will contribute urgently needed guidance for the management of these important ecosystems.

    更新日期:2019-07-30
  • The outsized trophic footprint of marine urbanization
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Martino E Malerba, Craig R White, Dustin J Marshall

    Artificial structures are proliferating along coastlines worldwide, creating new habitat for heterotrophic filter feeders. The energy demand of this heterotrophic biomass is likely to be substantial, but is largely unquantified. Combining in situ surveys, laboratory assays, and information obtained from geographic information systems, we estimated the energy demands of sessile invertebrates found on marine artificial structures worldwide. At least 950,000 metric tons of heterotrophic biomass are associated with commercial ports around the world, emitting over 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and consuming 5 million megajoules of energy per day. We propose the concept of a trophic “footprint” of marine urbanization, in which every square meter of artificial structure can negate the primary production of up to 130 square meters of surrounding coastal waters; collectively, these structures not only act as energy sinks and carbon sources, but also potentially reduce the productivity of coastal food webs.

    更新日期:2019-07-02
  • Environmental DNA in lake sediment reveals biogeography of native genetic diversity
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Hedin T Nelson‐Chorney, Corey S Davis, Mark S Poesch, Rolf D Vinebrooke, Christopher M Carli, Mark K Taylor

    Understanding the historical distributions of species is vital to the conservation and restoration of native species, yet such information is often qualitative. We show that the paleolimnological history of threatened freshwater fishes can be reconstructed using species‐diagnostic markers amplified from environmental DNA deposited in lake sediments (lake sedDNA). This method was validated through the detection of lake sedDNA from non‐native trout (Yellowstone cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri), which corroborated historical records of human‐mediated introductions. We also discovered native trout (westslope cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) lake sedDNA that predated human‐mediated introductions of freshwater fishes in a watershed with high topographical relief. This unexpected result revealed that the westslope population was of native origin and requires immediate conservation protection. Our findings demonstrate that lake sedDNA can be used to determine the colonization history of freshwater fishes and the structure of ecosystems, aiding in the identification of native ranges, novel native diversity, and introductions of non‐native species.

    更新日期:2019-07-02
  • Underestimating the benefits of marine protected areas for the replenishment of fished populations
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Dustin J Marshall, Steven Gaines, Robert Warner, Diego R Barneche, Michael Bode

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are important tools for managing marine ecosystems. MPAs are expected to replenish nearby exploited populations through the natural dispersal of young, but the models that make these predictions rely on assumptions that have recently been demonstrated to be incorrect for most species of fish. A meta‐analysis showed that fish reproductive output scales “hyperallometrically” with fish mass, such that larger fish produce more offspring per unit body mass than smaller fish. Because fish are often larger inside MPAs, they should exhibit disproportionately higher reproductive output as compared to fish outside of MPAs. We explore the consequences of hyperallometric reproduction for a range of species for population replenishment and the productivity of exploited species. We show that the reproductive contribution of fish inside MPAs has been systematically underestimated and that fisheries yields can be enhanced by the establishment of reservoirs of larger, highly fecund fish.

    更新日期:2019-07-02
  • Is fire “for the birds”? How two rare species influence fire management across the US
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Scott L Stephens, Leda N Kobziar, Brandon M Collins, Raymond Davis, Peter Z Fulé, William Gaines, Joseph Ganey, James M Guldin, Paul F Hessburg, Kevin Hiers, Serra Hoagland, John J Keane, Ronald E Masters, Ann E McKellar, Warren Montague, Malcolm North, Thomas A Spies

    The US Endangered Species Act has enabled species conservation but has differentially impacted fire management and rare bird conservation in the southern and western US. In the South, prescribed fire and restoration‐based forest thinning are commonly used to conserve the endangered red‐cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis; RCW), whereas in the West, land managers continue to suppress fire across the diverse habitats of the northern, Californian, and Mexican spotted owls (Strix occidentalis subspecies; SO). Although the habitat needs of the RCW and SO are not identical, substantial portions of both species’ ranges have historically been exposed to relatively frequent, low‐ to moderate‐intensity fires. Active management with fire and thinning has benefited the RCW but proves challenging in the western US. We suggest the western US could benefit from the adoption of a similar innovative approach through policy, public–private partnerships, and complementarity of endangered species management with multiple objectives. These changes would likely balance long‐term goals of SO conservation and enhance forest resilience.

    更新日期:2019-07-02
  • The impact of green space and biodiversity on health
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-07-02
    Hakkan Lai, Emily J Flies, Philip Weinstein, Alistair Woodward

    Urban green spaces are associated with many health outcomes, but the mechanisms underlying these links remain unclear. One explanation is that biodiverse microbiomes in green spaces affect human health by modifying immune function. Our systematic review included studies that investigated the relationship between green space and either health or biodiversity. Reported effects of green space on health were generally positive, but 22% of the papers identified either no effect or negative effects. We also found that although green space was commonly associated with biodiversity, few green‐space health studies simultaneously examined biodiversity. Overreliance on cross‐sectional studies, various definitions of green space, and a lack of research in tropical and developing nations limit the conclusions that can be drawn. A better understanding of the biological aspects of contact with nature is required before city planners can optimize green spaces for health gains.

    更新日期:2019-07-02
  • Punching above their weight: the ecological and social benefits of pop‐up parks
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-06-03
    Luis Mata; Georgia E Garrard; Fiona Fidler; Christopher D Ives; Cecily Maller; Joab Wilson; Freya Thomas; Sarah A Bekessy

    Current global enthusiasm for urban greening and bringing nature back into cities is unprecedented. Evidence of the socioecological benefits of large, permanent greenspaces is mounting, but the collective potential for pop‐up parks (PUPs) – small, temporary greenspaces – to augment urban ecosystem services is unknown. To showcase the potential of PUPs, we first highlight a case study demonstrating how PUPs may enhance biodiversity in a densely urbanized area; we then review evidence linking the design of small greenspaces with positive social outcomes, including benefits to human well‐being. Finally, we emphasize how PUPs can function as socioecological laboratories to help inform urban design, and then propose a research agenda to better understand how PUPs may be optimally designed to provide benefits to humans and other species.

    更新日期:2019-06-03
  • Island of opportunity: can New Guinea protect amphibians from a globally emerging pathogen?
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-06-03
    Deborah S Bower; Karen R Lips; Yolarnie Amepou; Stephen Richards; Chris Dahl; Elizah Nagombi; Miriam Supuma; Lisa Dabek; Ross A Alford; Lin Schwarzkopf; Mark Ziembicki; Jeffrey N Noro; Amir Hamidy; Graeme R Gillespie; Lee Berger; Carla Eisemberg; Yiming Li; Xuan Liu; Charlotte K Jennings; Burhan Tjaturadi; Andrew Peters; Andrew K Krockenberger; Dillian Nason; Mirza D Kusrini; Rebecca J Webb; Lee F Skerratt; Chris Banks; Andrew L Mack; Arthur Georges; Simon Clulow

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid) has caused the most widespread, disease‐induced declines and extinctions in vertebrates recorded to date. The largest climatically suitable landmass that may still be free of this fungus is New Guinea. The island is home to a sizeable proportion of the world's known frog species (an estimated 6%), as well as many additional, yet‐to‐be‐described species. Two decades of research on the chytrid fungus have provided a foundation for improved management of amphibian populations. We call for urgent, unified, international, multidisciplinary action to prepare for the arrival of B dendrobatidis in New Guinea, to prevent or slow its spread within the island after it arrives, and to limit its impact upon the island's frog populations. The apparent absence of the fungus in New Guinea offers an opportunity to build capacity in advance for science, disease surveillance, and diagnosis that will have broad relevance both for non‐human animal health and for public health.

    更新日期:2019-06-03
  • Ecological islands: conserving biodiversity hotspots in a changing climate
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-06-03
    Jennifer Cartwright

    For decades, botanists have recognized that rare plants are clustered into ecological “islands”: small and isolated habitat patches produced by landscape features such as sinkholes and bedrock outcrops. Insular ecosystems often provide unusually stressful microhabitats for plant growth (due, for example, to their characteristically thin soils, high temperatures, extreme pH, or limited nutrients) to which rare species are specially adapted. Climate‐driven changes to these stressors may undermine the competitive advantage of stress‐adapted species, allowing them to be displaced by competitors, or may overwhelm their coping strategies altogether. Special features of insular ecosystems – such as extreme habitat fragmentation and association with unusual landscape features – could also affect their climate sensitivity and adaptive capacity. To help predict and manage climate‐change impacts, I present a simple conceptual framework based on a synthesis of over 300 site‐level studies. Using this framework, conservation efforts can leverage existing ecological knowledge to anticipate habitat changes and design targeted strategies for conserving rare species.

    更新日期:2019-06-03
  • When pets become pests: the role of the exotic pet trade in producing invasive vertebrate animals
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-06-03
    Julie L Lockwood; Dustin J Welbourne; Christina M Romagosa; Phillip Cassey; Nicholas E Mandrak; Angela Strecker; Brian Leung; Oliver C Stringham; Bradley Udell; Diane J Episcopio‐Sturgeon; Michael F Tlusty; James Sinclair; Michael R Springborn; Elizabeth F Pienaar; Andrew L Rhyne; Reuben Keller

    The annual trade in exotic vertebrates as pets is a multi‐billion‐dollar global business. Thousands of species, and tens of millions of individual animals, are shipped both internationally and within countries to satisfy this demand. Most research on the exotic pet trade has focused on its contribution to native biodiversity loss and disease spread. Here, we synthesize information across taxa and research disciplines to document the exotic pet trade's contribution to vertebrate biological invasions. We show recent and substantial worldwide growth in the number of non‐native animal populations introduced via this invasion pathway, which demonstrates a strong potential to increase the number of invasive animals in the future. Key to addressing the invasion threat of exotic pets is learning more about the socioeconomic forces that drive the massive growth in the exotic pet market and the socioecological factors that underlie pet release by owners. These factors likely vary according to cultural pet‐keeping traditions across regions and whether purchases were legal or illegal. These gaps in our understanding of the exotic pet trade must be addressed in order to implement effective policy solutions.

    更新日期:2019-06-03
  • Widespread shortfalls in protected area resourcing undermine efforts to conserve biodiversity
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-05-06
    Lauren Coad; James EM Watson; Jonas Geldmann; Neil D Burgess; Fiona Leverington; Marc Hockings; Kathryn Knights; Moreno Di Marco

    Protected areas (PAs) are a key tool in efforts to safeguard biodiversity against increasing anthropogenic threats. As signatories to the 2011–2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, 196 nations pledged support for expansion in the extent of the global PA estate and the quality of PA management. While this has resulted in substantial increases in PA designations, many sites lack the resources needed to guarantee effective biodiversity conservation. Using management reports from 2167 PAs (with an area representing 23% of the global terrestrial PA estate), we demonstrate that less than a quarter of these PAs report having adequate resources in terms of staffing and budget. Using data on the geographic ranges of the 11,919 terrestrial vertebrate species overlapping our sample of PAs, we estimate that only 4–9% of terrestrial amphibians, birds, and mammals are sufficiently represented within the existing global PA estate, when only adequately resourced PAs are considered. While continued expansion of the world's PAs is necessary, a shift in emphasis from quantity to quality is critical to effectively respond to the current biodiversity crisis.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Wildfires as an ecosystem service
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-05-06
    Juli G Pausas; Jon E Keeley

    Wildfires are often perceived as destructive disturbances, but we propose that when integrating evolutionary and socioecological factors, fires in most ecosystems can be understood as natural processes that provide a variety of benefits to humankind. Wildfires generate open habitats that enable the evolution of a diversity of shade‐intolerant plants and animals that have long benefited humans. There are many provisioning, regulating, and cultural services that people obtain from wildfires, and prescribed fires and wildfire management are tools for mimicking the ancestral role of wildfires in an increasingly populated world.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Connectivity for species on the move: supporting climate‐driven range shifts
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-05-06
    Caitlin E Littlefield; Meade Krosby; Julia L Michalak; Joshua J Lawler

    Many species are already responding to global climate change by shifting their ranges to track suitable climatic conditions. However, habitat loss and fragmentation, coupled with the rapidity of climate change, make it difficult for species to keep pace. It is therefore unsurprising that enhancing landscape connectivity is the most frequently cited climate‐adaptation strategy for conserving biodiversity. Yet most connectivity planning, even if intended to address climate change, does not directly take climate change and climate‐driven range shifts into account. Nonetheless, several approaches that do explicitly address the unique challenges posed by climate change have recently emerged. We review these connectivity modeling approaches: specifically, how they incorporate species' responses, identify movement routes, and address uncertainties. Despite this proliferation of approaches, conceptual and analytical hurdles remain, and meeting these challenges will be critical to achieving effective landscape connectivity for species in the face of climate change.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • The oldest trees in China and where to find them
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-05-06
    Jiajia Liu; Bao Yang; David B Lindenmayer

    Extremely old trees are valued and revered by residents in many countries. Yet information about the ages and locations of the oldest living trees is rarely available, especially at the national level. We compiled a series of dendrochronological datasets of the age and location of very old trees (≥1000 years old) across China, and found that there are at least 98 ancient living trees exceeding 1000 years of age in the country. The oldest living individual we identified was a Qilian juniper (Juniperus przewalskii) tree that, as of 2009, was determined to be 2230 years old. The oldest trees occurred most frequently in remote, high‐elevation areas.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • The ecological uncertainty of wildfire fuel breaks: examples from the sagebrush steppe
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-05-06
    Douglas J Shinneman; Matthew J Germino; David S Pilliod; Cameron L Aldridge; Nicole M Vaillant; Peter S Coates

    Fuel breaks are increasingly being implemented at broad scales (100s to 10,000s of square kilometers) in fire‐prone landscapes globally, yet there is little scientific information available regarding their ecological effects (eg habitat fragmentation). Fuel breaks are designed to reduce flammable vegetation (ie fuels), increase the safety and effectiveness of fire‐suppression operations, and ultimately decrease the extent of wildfire spread. In sagebrush (Artemisia spp) ecosystems of the western US, installation of extensive linear fuel breaks is also intended to protect habitat, especially for the greater sage‐grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species that is sensitive to habitat fragmentation. We examine this apparent contradiction in the Great Basin region, where invasive annual grasses have increased wildfire activity and threaten sagebrush ecosystems. Given uncertain outcomes, we examine how implementation of fuel breaks might (1) directly alter ecosystems, (2) create edges and edge effects, (3) serve as vectors for wildlife movement and plant invasions, (4) fragment otherwise contiguous sagebrush landscapes, and (5) benefit from scientific investigation intended to disentangle their ecological costs and benefits.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Age and connection to nature: when is engagement critical?
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-04-01
    Joelene Hughes; Mike Rogerson; Jo Barton; Rachel Bragg

    Conservation organizations are increasingly aware of the need to motivate pro‐environmental behavior by connecting people with nature. However, to maximize the effectiveness of the limited resources available, there needs to be a better understanding of the variability in people's connection to nature shown at different ages. We examined connection to nature among people aged 5–75 years, using two popular measures, in a cross‐sectional UK sample, based on the hypothesis that there would be clear, age‐related patterns in people's connection to nature, with specific “breakpoints” associated with differences in feelings of connection. Data were collected across a variety of locations. Analysis of generalized additive models revealed similar age‐related patterns for both measures, with connection declining from childhood to an overall low in the mid‐teens, followed by a rise to the early 20s and reaching a plateau that lasts to the end of the lifetime. Both measures also showed that females generally had higher connection scores than males. These findings have implications for conservation action.

    更新日期:2019-05-16
  • Advancing urban wildlife research through a multi‐city collaboration
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-04-01
    Seth B Magle; Mason Fidino; Elizabeth W Lehrer; Travis Gallo; Matthew P Mulligan; María Jazmín Ríos; Adam A Ahlers; Julia Angstmann; Amy Belaire; Barbara Dugelby; Ashley Gramza; Laurel Hartley; Brandon MacDougall; Travis Ryan; Carmen Salsbury; Heather Sander; Christopher Schell; Kelly Simon; Sarah St Onge; David Drake

    Research on urban wildlife can help promote coexistence and guide future interactions between humans and wildlife in developed regions, but most such investigations are limited to short‐term, single‐species studies, typically conducted within a single city. This restricted focus prevents scientists from recognizing global patterns and first principles regarding urban wildlife behavior and ecology. To overcome these limitations, we have designed a pioneering research network, the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN), whereby partners collaborate across several cities to systematically collect data to populate long‐term datasets on multiple species in urban areas. Data collected via UWIN support analyses that will enable us to build basic theory related to urban wildlife ecology. An analysis of mammals in seven metropolitan regions suggests that common species are similar across cities, but relative rates of occupancy differ markedly. We ultimately view UWIN as an applied tool that can be used to connect the public to urban nature at a continental scale, and provide information critical to urban planners and landscape architects. Our network therefore has the potential to advance knowledge and to improve the ability to plan and manage cities to support biodiversity.

    更新日期:2019-04-02
  • Bright lights in the big cities: migratory birds’ exposure to artificial light
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-04-01
    Kyle G Horton; Cecilia Nilsson; Benjamin M Van Doren; Frank A La Sorte; Adriaan M Dokter; Andrew Farnsworth

    Many species of migratory birds have evolved the ability to migrate at night, and the recent and rapid expansion of artificial light at night has markedly altered the nighttime sky through which they travel. Migrating birds regularly pass through heavily illuminated landscapes, and bright lights affect avian orientation. But risks to migrating birds from artificial light are not spatially or temporally uniform, representing a challenge for mitigating potential hazards and developing action plans to catalog risks at continental scales. We leveraged over two decades of remote‐sensing data collected by weather surveillance radar and satellite‐based sensors to identify locations and times of year when the highest numbers of migrating birds are exposed to light pollution in the contiguous US. Our continental‐scale quantification of light exposure provides a novel opportunity for dynamic and targeted conservation strategies to address the hazards posed by light pollution to nocturnally migrating birds.

    更新日期:2019-04-01
  • When cities are the last chance for saving species
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-04-01
    Kylie Soanes; Pia E Lentini

    Urban environments are arguably among the most suitable targets for conservation science, as they represent opportunities to preserve both species and habitats under threat while at the same time allowing people to engage with nature. We highlight the need for conservation within urban environments using species whose recovery is entirely dependent on effective action within cities and towns. We identified 39 urban‐restricted species in Australia and reviewed the advice guiding their conservation to address the question, “What does conservation look like when cities are the last chance for saving species?” We argue that in such circumstances securing land for conservation purposes cannot be relied upon; instead, species must be protected on lands not originally intended for conservation and urban communities must be involved in recovery actions. Ultimately, to achieve such outcomes, decision makers need to recognize the importance of urban ecosystems in the recovery of imperiled species.

    更新日期:2019-04-01
  • Enhancing global change experiments through integration of remote‐sensing techniques
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-04-01
    Alexey N Shiklomanov; Bethany A Bradley; Kyla M Dahlin; Andrew M Fox; Christopher M Gough; Forrest M Hoffman; Elizabeth M Middleton; Shawn P Serbin; Luke Smallman; William K Smith

    Global change experiments are often spatially and temporally limited because they are time‐ and labor‐intensive, and expensive to carry out. We describe how the incorporation of remote‐sensing techniques into global change experiments can complement traditional methods and provide additional information about system processes. We describe five emerging near‐surface remote‐sensing techniques: spectroscopy, thermal and fluorescence imaging, terrestrial laser scanning, digital repeat photography, and unmanned aerial systems. The addition of such techniques can reduce cost and effort, provide novel information, and expand existing observations by improving their context, accuracy, and completeness. In addition, we contend that use of airborne and satellite remote‐sensing data during site selection can improve the ecological representativeness of future experiments. We conclude by recommending a high level of communication and collaboration between remote‐sensing scientists and ecologists at all stages of global change experimentation.

    更新日期:2019-04-01
  • Out with OLD growth, in with ecological continNEWity: new perspectives on forest conservation
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-03-05
    R Troy McMullin; Yolanda F Wiersma

    Forest managers have a responsibility to identify and conserve ecologically exceptional forest stands. In North America, priority areas of old‐growth forest are often identified based primarily on the age of trees within the stand. However, delineating forests with high conservation value based solely on tree age is an oversimplification. Therefore, we propose a different view – that of forest continuity, a view that is more prevalent in Europe. We contend that forests that have been continuously wooded over time, whether old‐growth trees are present or not, have higher conservation value than areas that have old trees but that may not always have been forested. Identifying forests with high continuity requires a different index than tree age. We argue that the relative richness and abundance of lichens can be effective indicators of forest continuity, discuss how forest managers might operationalize this system, and explain why it might be a more ecologically relevant indicator of priority forest areas.

    更新日期:2019-03-06
  • From potential to practical: conserving bees in urban public green spaces
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-03-04
    Katherine J Turo; Mary M Gardiner

    The documentation of many rare or declining bee species in urban green spaces has led to a recent focus on cities as conservation targets. However, for pollinator conservation to succeed long term, we argue that the opinions and values of local community members must be prioritized more explicitly. In our experience, conservation is difficult to achieve when the aesthetic and safety concerns of urban residents are not reconciled with the goals and habitat designs of conservation practitioners. Similarly, from a bee ecology perspective, many questions concerning optimal design and management practices for pollinator habitats in cities remain unresolved. It is our hope that frank discussion of the challenges associated with urban pollinator conservation in public green spaces will inspire thoughtful consideration of how best to implement new initiatives in cities.

    更新日期:2019-03-04
  • Parasites lost: using natural history collections to track disease change across deep time
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-03-04
    Alaina Harmon; D Tim J Littlewood; Chelsea L Wood

    Recent decades have brought countless outbreaks of infectious disease among wildlife. These events appear to be increasing in frequency and magnitude, but to objectively evaluate whether ecosystems are experiencing rising rates of disease, scientists require historical data on disease abundance. Specimens held in natural history collections represent a chronological archive of life on Earth and may, in many cases, be the only available source of data on historical disease patterns. It is possible to extract information on past disease rates by studying trace fossils (indirect fossilized evidence of an organism's presence or activity, including coprolites or feces), sequencing ancient DNA of parasites, and examining sediment samples, mummified remains, study skins (preserved animal skins prepared by taxidermy for research purposes), liquid‐preserved hosts, and hosts preserved in amber. Such use of natural history collections could expand scientific understanding of parasite responses to environmental change across deep time (that is, over the past several centuries), facilitating the development of baselines for managing contemporary wildlife disease.

    更新日期:2019-03-04
  • Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-03-04
    Tim M Blackburn; Céline Bellard; Anthony Ricciardi

    Native plants and animals can rapidly become superabundant and dominate ecosystems, leading to claims that native species are no less likely than alien species to cause environmental damage, including biodiversity loss. We compared how frequently alien and native species have been implicated as drivers of recent extinctions in a comprehensive global database, the 2017 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Alien species were considered to be a contributing cause of 25% of plant extinctions and 33% of animal extinctions, whereas native species were implicated in less than 5% and 3% of plant and animal extinctions, respectively. When listed as a putative driver of recent extinctions, native species were more often associated with other extinction drivers than were alien species. Our results offer additional evidence that the biogeographic origin, and hence evolutionary history, of a species are determining factors of its potential to cause disruptive environmental impacts.

    更新日期:2019-03-04
  • Microbiome engineering: enhancing climate resilience in corals
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-02-04
    Hannah E Epstein; Hillary A Smith; Gergely Torda; Madeleine JH van Oppen

    The world's coral reefs are under unparalleled pressure due to climate change, stimulating research focused on preventing further damage and loss in these ecosystems. The coral microbiome has been widely acknowledged as crucial to coral health and function, playing multiple roles in key biological processes. Recent empirical studies suggest that microbes may contribute to coral host tolerance of thermal stress, and harnessing these benefits through microbiome engineering (ME) may provide a mechanism for enhancing climate resilience in corals. Although coral ME is in its infancy, similar and successful ME approaches that are already underway in other fields – including agriculture, medicine, and wastewater treatment – may serve to guide and improve ME techniques in corals. We discuss current applications of ME, identify three key research priorities that will help elucidate the viability of ME for corals, and consider the implications of using these approaches for reef restoration.

    更新日期:2019-02-05
  • Social–ecological mismatches create conservation challenges in introduced species management
    Front. Ecol. Environ. (IF 10.935) Pub Date : 2019-02-04
    Erik A Beever; Daniel Simberloff; Sarah L Crowley; Robert Al‐Chokhachy; Hazel A Jackson; Steven L Petersen

    Introduced species can have important effects on the component species and processes of native ecosystems. However, effective introduced species management can be complicated by technical and social challenges. We identify “social–ecological mismatches” (that is, differences between the scales and functioning of interacting social and ecological systems) as one such challenge. We present three case studies in which mismatches between the organization and functioning of key social and ecological systems have contributed to controversies and debates surrounding introduced species management and policy. We identify three common issues: social systems and cultures may adapt to a new species’ arrival at a different rate than ecosystems; ecological impacts can arise at one spatial scale while social impacts occur at another; and the effects of introduced species can spread widely, whereas management actions are constrained by organizational and/or political boundaries. We propose strategies for collaborative knowledge building and adaptive management that may help address these challenges.

    更新日期:2019-02-05
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