Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FLORA AND FAUNA
Scientists call policy-makers to be scale-aware
by Staff Writers
Leipzig, Germany (SPX) Sep 03, 2012


This is a photo of an endangered Natura 2000 butterfly, Phengaris arion (listed in the Habitats Directive as Maculinea arion). Credit: Chris van Swaay.

To be successful, nature conservation measures must account for the complexity of the human impact and how nature responds to them, at different spatial and temporal scales. "Scale-sensitive research" emerges as a new, interdisciplinary field in nature conservation where researchers adjust concepts, analyses, and tools to the scale in which these might be used. Policy-makers, on their side, must ensure that the decisions they take resolve ecological problems at the relevant administrative and spatial scales.

Scientists involved in SCALES, a large-scale integrating project funded by the 7th Framework Program (FP7) of the European Union, have identified a series of mismatches between the scale of research at which conservation biologists study how best to protect biological diversity and the need for implementation of scale-based approaches in policy and management, especially in the design of Natura 2000, Green Infrastructure and biodiversity monitoring.

These concerns and new findings have been discussed at a dedicated SCALES symposium at the 3rd European Congress of Conservation Biology (ECCB) in Glasgow on 28th-31st of August 2012. Dr Klaus Henle from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ in Leipzig, Germany and coordinator of SCALES opened the discussion: "It has long been known that scale issues play an important role in ecological research. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that scale-awareness is also crucial in designing and implementing conservation practices. Conservation in a rapidly-changing world requires systematic and dynamic approaches to shorten the time from research findings to policy implementation."

Prof. William Kunin from the University of Leeds, UK, added: "Policy-makers should consider not only or mainly the need to protect species richness (that is what scientists call "alpha-diversity"), but also changes in species' composition from one habitat to another, or what is called "beta-diversity". Focusing on beta-diversity, rather than on number of species or certain focal species in a given area or scale, will certainly enhance conservation effectiveness".

Dr. Henle showed that the problem with variation is relevant not only to space but also to time. For example, areas that may be identified as critical to protect may differ if we use data from different years. Hence, even well-researched programs to select protected areas will fail if they don't consider changes in species distribution and composition between years (that is what scientists call "temporal variation").

Dr Guy Pe'er from the UFZ suggested that "connectivity between remnants of natural habitats must be more effectively included in policy and planning, in order to allow species to survive through climate change: if natural habitats remain so fragmented, many species simply will not be able to alter their distributions with changing climate". Many scientists are aware of the problem, but nevertheless connectivity still does not attract sufficient attention of policy makers and planners, partly because of dealing with "larger scale problems", so to say, of ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. Novel individual-based simulation models, presented by Guy Pe'er and Greta Bocedi, give some tools to bridge this gap and reduce the risks of errors when moving from local studies to tackling large-scale threats.

Dr Szabolcs Lengyel and his team from the University of Debrecen, Hungary presented a survey of the literature to investigate how specific today's conservation strategies are to certain scales. Although they found a generally increasing awareness of scale-related issues in conservation, they also identified important gaps. The results of the study call conservationists and policy-makers to develop scale-sensitive approaches, in much the same way as cell biologists may use different levels of magnifications under the microscope depending on what they wish to observe and study.

"Perhaps the biggest gap between scientists and policy makers is the gap of speed. We need to work and publish faster. The scientific work will fail to target its most important audience as long as the time until publication is slow, the language is often too technical and the outcomes are published in specialized journals of limited access. Instead, we need to communicate and share our data and findings more openly and far more rapidly", concluded Dr. Henle, the Editor-in-Chief of the new, open-access, inter-disciplinary journal Nature Conservation.

1. SCALES Brief 2. Systematic reserve site selection in dynamic landscapes. Authors: Klaus Henle, Birgit Felinks; 2. SCALES Brief 3. Beta diversity of European fauna and flora: the role of dispersal limitations, climate and land-cover at multiple scales. Author: Petr Keil; 3. Henle, K. et al.: Nature Conservation - a new dimension in Open Access publishing bridging science and application; Nature Conservation 1: 1-10. DOI 10.3897/natureconservation.1.3081

.


Related Links
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
University of Leeds,
University of Debrecen,
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FLORA AND FAUNA
Why are there so many species of beetles and so few crocodiles?
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Sep 03, 2012
There are more than 400,000 species of beetles and only two species of the tuatara, a reptile cousin of snakes and lizards that lives in New Zealand. Crocodiles and alligators, while nearly 250 million years old, have diversified into only 23 species. Why evolution has produced "winners" - including mammals and many species of birds and fish - and "losers" is a major question in evolutionary bio ... read more


FLORA AND FAUNA
Post-Fukushima meeting calls for more work on nuclear safety

Romney off-message in storm-ravaged Bayou

Japan conducts national quake drill

Democrats scold Romney for storm tour 'hypocrisy'

FLORA AND FAUNA
Nanoresonators might improve cell phone performance

Japan court rejects patent claims against Samsung as Apple files More US actions

ThalesRaytheonSystems awarded contract by US Army to upgrade Firefinder Radars

Stable isotopes a universal tool

FLORA AND FAUNA
Viruses Could be the Key to Healthy Corals

Fishermen battle for tradition amid French Riviera luxury

New DNA-method tracks fish and whales in seawater

After drenching New Orleans, Isaac threatens dam

FLORA AND FAUNA
Study suggests large methane reservoirs beneath Antarctic ice sheet

NASA's IceBridge Seeking New View of Changing Sea Ice

Netherlands: Arctic energy rules needed

Thawing permafrost frees millions of tons of carbon: study

FLORA AND FAUNA
Uncoiling the cucumber's enigma

Brazil's Rousseff vows to stand firm on environment defense

World can increase food supply, study says

No-till could help maintain crop yields despite climate change

FLORA AND FAUNA
N. Korea says typhoon killed 48 people

A Slow-moving Isaac Brings Flooding to Gulf States

Obama to tour hurricane damage on Monday

One dead, small tsunami after 7.6 Philippine quake

FLORA AND FAUNA
Liberia gets Norwegian security training

Uganda seizes LRA munitions

AMISOM troops retake Somalia's Marka port

Sudan, South Sudan dispute Abyei region

FLORA AND FAUNA
DNA of ancient human decoded

Electronics, living tissue, merged in lab

Man mistakes son for monkey, shoots him dead

More Clues About Why Chimps and Humans Are Genetically Different




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement