Global human influence maps reveal clear opportunities in conserving Earth’s remaining intact terrestrial ecosystemsJason Riggio, Jonathan E. M. Baillie, Steven Brumby, Erle Ellis, Christina M. Kennedy, James R. Oakleaf, Alex Tait, Therese Tepe, David M. Theobald, Oscar Venter, James E.M. Watson & Andrew P. Jacobson
Leading up to the 2020 Convention on Biological Diversity there is momentum around setting bold conservation targets. Yet it remains unclear how much of Earth’s land area remains without significant human influence and where this land is located. We compare four recent global maps of human influences across Earth’s land, Anthromes, Global Human Modification, Human Footprint, and Low Impact Areas, to answer these questions. Despite using various methodologies and data, these different spatial assessments independently...
Active restoration is becoming an increasingly important conservation intervention to counteract the degradation of marine coastal ecosystems. Understanding what has motivated the scientific community to research the restoration of marine coastal ecosystems and how restoration research projects are funded is essential if we want to scale-up restoration interventions to meaningful extents.Here, we systematically review and synthesize data to understand the motivations for research on the restoration of coral reefs, seagrass, mangroves, saltmarsh, and oyster reefs....
Coral restoration – a systematic review of current methods, successes, failures and future directionsLisa Boström-Einarsson, Russell C. Babcock, Elisa Bayraktarov, Daniela Ceccarelli, Nathan Cook, Sebastian C. A. Ferse, Boze Hancock, Peter Harrison, Margaux Hein, Elizabeth Shaver, Adam Smith, David Suggett, Phoebe J. Stewart-Sinclair, Tali Vardi & Ian M. McLeod
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef managers and scientists has resulted in a disjointed field where it is difficult to gain an overview of existing knowledge. To address this, we aimed to synthesise the...
Winter inputs buffer streamflow sensitivity to snowpack losses in the Salt River Watershed in the Lower Colorado River BasinMarcos Robles, John C. Hammond, Stephanie K. Kampf, Joel A. Biederman & Eleonora M. C. Demaria
Recent streamflow declines in the Upper Colorado River Basin raise concerns about the sensitivity of water supply for 40 million people to rising temperatures. Yet, other studies in western US river basins present a paradox: streamflow has not consistently declined with warming and snow loss. A potential explanation for this lack of consistency is warming-induced production of winter runoff when potential evaporative losses are low. This mechanism is more likely in basins at lower elevations...
Data on the extent, patterns, and trends of human land use are critically important to support global and national priorities for conservation and sustainable development. To inform these issues, we created a series of detailed global datasets for 1990, 2000, 2010, 2015, and 2017 to evaluate temporal and spatial trends of land use modification of terrestrial lands (excluding Antarctica). Our novel datasets are detailed (0.09 km2 resolution), temporally consistent (for 1990-2015), comprehensive (11 change stressors,...
1. Farmland diversification practices are increasingly adopted to help reverse biodiversity declines in agroecosystems. However, evidence for the effectiveness of this approach often comes from documenting the species attracted to particular farming systems or landscapes, rather than their underlying physiological states that ultimately determine population growth or decline over the longer term. 2. Across 38 organic, mixed-produce farms spanning the U.S. west coast, we quantified three physiological biomarkers that are widely used to capture variation...
1. Agricultural intensification and simplification are key drivers of recent declines in wild bird populations, heightening the need to better balance conservation with food production. This is hindered, however, by perceptions that birds threaten food safety. While birds are known reservoirs of foodborne pathogens, there remains uncertainty about the links between landscape context, farming practices, and actual crop contamination by birds. 2. Here, we examine relationships between landscape context, farming practices, and pathogen contamination by...
Data from: Planning for climate change through additions to a national protected area network: implications for cost and configurationJoshua Lawler, D. Scott Rinnan, Julia Michalak, John Withey & Hugh Possingham
Expanding the network of protected areas is a core strategy for conserving biodiversity in the face of climate change. Here we explore the impacts on reserve network cost and configuration associated with planning for climate change in the United States using networks that prioritize areas projected to be climatically suitable for 1,460 species both today and into the future, climatic refugia, and areas likely to facilitate climate-driven species movements. For 14% of the species, networks...
1. Camera traps deployed in grids or stratified random designs are a well-established survey tool for wildlife but there has been little evaluation of study design parameters. 2. We used an empirical subsampling approach involving 2225 camera deployments run at 41 study areas around the world to evaluate three aspects of camera trap study design (number of sites, duration and season of sampling) and their influence on the estimation of three ecological metrics (species richness,...
The spatial structure of ecological communities on tropical coral reefs across seascapes and geographies have historically been poorly understood. Here we addressed this for the first time using spatially expansive and thematically resolved benthic community data collected around five uninhabited central Pacific oceanic islands, spanning 6° latitude and 17° longitude. Using towed-diver digital image surveys over ~140 linear km of shallow (8 – 20 m depth) tropical reef, we highlight the autocorrelated nature of coral...
Relationships between a common Caribbean corallivorous snail and protected area status, coral cover, and predator abundanceElizabeth Shaver, Julianna Renzi, Maite Bucher & Brian Silliman
As coral populations decline across the Caribbean, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the forces that inhibit coral survivorship and recovery. Predation by corallivores, such as the short coral snail Coralliophila abbreviata,are one threat to the health of reefs worldwide, but understanding of the factors controlling corallivore populations, and therefore corallivore predation pressure, remains limited. To examine the extent to which bottom-up (i.e., coral prey) and top-down (i.e., predators) forces relate to C. abbreviata...
Data from: Translocation with targeted vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect an island endemic bird threatened by West Nile virusVictoria Bakker, T. Sillett, Walter Boyce, Daniel Doak, T. Winston Vickers, William Reisen, Brian Cohen, Michael Hallworth & Scott Morrison
Aim Invasive pathogens are a growing conservation challenge and often occur in tandem with rapid environmental transformation, such as climate change, drought, and habitat loss. Climate change appears to have facilitated the spread of West Nile virus (WNV), a cause of widespread avian mortality. WNV is considered the primary threat to island scrub-jays (Aphelocoma insularis), endemic to Santa Cruz Island, California. Two approaches have been proposed to safeguard island scrub-jays: (1) vaccination and (2) conservation...
The Nature Conservancy12
University of Queensland3
University of Georgia2
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration2
University of British Columbia2
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute2
Washington State University2
Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí1
Southern Cross University1