Special Issue "Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management"

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A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Lyne Morissette

Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski, 310, Allée des Ursulines, C.P. 3300, Rimouski, QC G5L 3A1, Canada
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this special issue scientists examine how anthropogenic activities can affects bioconservation. With the current overexploited status of many wildlife resources, there is a need to link the general principles of wildlife management to how it affects biodiversity and conservation of exploited species, but also other components of the foodweb they rely on. Understanding how to preserve vulnerable or endangered species is also crucial in the present context. How do we measure the impact of humans on biodiversity and how do we elaborate management plans for wildlife resources? Examples of topics to be discussed are: what are the best tools and approaches contributing to the study, management, and conservation of wildlife species? what is the scientific basis of conservation and management that can effectively confront the crisis in biodiversity & sustainable use of wildlife resources on a long-term perspective? What is the importance of biodiversity for maintaining the structure and function of foodwebs? What are the best management strategies to conserving healthy ecosystems or sustainably use them? Can we understand, model or prevent species extinctions? What is the role of habitat preservation in maintaining the biodiversity in ecosystems?

Dr. Lyne Morissette
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • biodiversity
  • resilience
  • conservation
  • wildlife management
  • foodweb
  • ecosystem
  • complexity
  • habitat
  • vulnerable species

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Forest Biodiversity Assessment in Relic Ecosystem: Monitoring and Management Practice Implications
Diversity 2011, 3(3), 531-546; doi:10.3390/d3030531
Received: 6 July 2011 / Revised: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 21 September 2011
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Abstract
The remnants of old-growth cedar forests in Lebanon are currently protected since they are taken to represent relic ecosystems sheltering many endemic, rare and endangered species. However, it is not always obvious how “natural” these forest relics are, and how the past use,
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The remnants of old-growth cedar forests in Lebanon are currently protected since they are taken to represent relic ecosystems sheltering many endemic, rare and endangered species. However, it is not always obvious how “natural” these forest relics are, and how the past use, conservation and management history have affected their current structural properties and species community composition. Even though Integrated Monitoring Programs have been initiated and developed, they are not being implemented effectively. The present research studied the effect of forest stand structure and the impacts of the anthropogenic activities effects on forest composition and floristic richness in four cedar forests in Lebanon. Horizontal and vertical structure was assessed by relying on the measurement of the physical characteristics and status of cedar trees including diversity and similarity indices. Two hundred and seventeen flora species were identified, among which 51 species were found to have biogeographical specificity and peculiar traits. The species composition seems not to be correlated with stand age structure; however, the occurrence of multiple age cedar stands favors floristic richness and variability in species composition as observed in one of the stands where the variation in diversity indices was high. In conclusion; to conserve biodiversity across landscapes, it is necessary to maintain a collection of stands of different vertical structure; an effect produced both by natural and anthropogenic disturbances since they both create a mosaic of different aged succession stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Identification of Statewide Areas for Conservation Focus in New Mexico: Implications for State Conservation Efforts
Diversity 2011, 3(2), 275-295; doi:10.3390/d3020275
Received: 4 May 2011 / Accepted: 13 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Landscape scale conservation planning efforts have been in place for the past several decades to maintain biodiversity. Objectives of past efforts have been to identify areas to create reserves based on species diversity, land ownership, and landscape context. Risk analysis has not often
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Landscape scale conservation planning efforts have been in place for the past several decades to maintain biodiversity. Objectives of past efforts have been to identify areas to create reserves based on species diversity, land ownership, and landscape context. Risk analysis has not often been included in these spatial analyses. Datasets such as the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis (SWReGAP) are now available as are processes that allow risk analysis to be viewed in a spatial context in relations to factors that affect habitats over broad scales. We describe a method to include four spatial datasets to provide coarse scale delineation on areas to focus conservation including species numbers, key habitats, land management and factors that influence habitats. We used the SWReGAP management status dataset to identify management categories for long-term intent of management for biodiversity. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish identified a set of 290 Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Species occurrences for these species were associated with hydrologic unit codes from the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Key habitats were identified by using the SWReGAP land cover dataset and NHD derivatives. Factors that influence habitats were identified and scored for 89 land cover types and 23 aquatic habitats identified by the NMDGF. Our final model prioritizes landscapes that are within key habitats, have high numbers of terrestrial and aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need taxa, may be potentially altered by multiple effects that influence habitats, and lack long-term legally-binding management plans protecting them from anthropogenic degradation. Similar to other efforts, riparian and aquatic habitats were identified as the most important for conservation. This information may be displayed spatially, allowing land managers and decision makers to understand the ecological context where multiple effects of potential factors may influence some habitats greater than others, and repeat process with CWCS revisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Mineral Licks as Diversity Hotspots in Lowland Forest of Eastern Ecuador
Diversity 2011, 3(2), 217-234; doi:10.3390/d3020217
Received: 24 December 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2011 / Accepted: 26 April 2011 / Published: 28 April 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mineral licks are sites where a diverse array of mammals and birds consume soil (geophagy) or drink water, likely for mineral supplementation. The diversity of species that visit such sites makes them important for conservation, particularly given that hunters often target animals at
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Mineral licks are sites where a diverse array of mammals and birds consume soil (geophagy) or drink water, likely for mineral supplementation. The diversity of species that visit such sites makes them important for conservation, particularly given that hunters often target animals at licks. Use of mineral licks varies among species, with frugivores among the most common visitors but there is considerable temporal and spatial variation in lick use both within and among species. Camera traps triggered by heat and motion were used to document use of mineral licks by birds and non-volant mammals over a four-year period at a lowland forest site in eastern Ecuador. We obtained 7,889 photographs representing 23 mammal species and 888 photographs representing 15 bird species. Activity (photographs/100 trap-days) at the four licks varied from 89 to 292 for mammals and from six to 43 for birds. Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), peccaries (Pecari tajacu, Tayassu pecari), deer (Mazama americana), and pacas (Cuniculus paca) were the most frequent mammal visitors; guans (Pipile pipile) and pigeons (Columba plumbea) were the most common birds. Use of licks varied diurnally and seasonally but patterns of use varied among species and sites. Mineral licks provide an important resource for many species but further studies are needed to determine the precise benefit(s) obtained and how benefits may vary with diet and other factors, such as rainfall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle The CC-Bio Project: Studying the Effects of Climate Change on Quebec Biodiversity
Diversity 2010, 2(11), 1181-1204; doi:10.3390/d2111181
Received: 25 September 2010 / Accepted: 9 November 2010 / Published: 19 November 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Anticipating the effects of climate change on biodiversity is now critical for managing wild species and ecosystems. Climate change is a global driver and thus affects biodiversity globally. However, land-use planners and natural resource managers need regional or even local predictions. This provides
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Anticipating the effects of climate change on biodiversity is now critical for managing wild species and ecosystems. Climate change is a global driver and thus affects biodiversity globally. However, land-use planners and natural resource managers need regional or even local predictions. This provides scientists with formidable challenges given the poor documentation of biodiversity and its complex relationships with climate. We are approaching this problem in Quebec, Canada, through the CC-Bio Project (http://cc‑bio.uqar.ca/), using a boundary organization as a catalyst for team work involving climate modelers, biologists, naturalists, and biodiversity managers. In this paper we present the CC-Bio Project and its general approach, some preliminary results, the emerging hypothesis of the northern biodiversity paradox (a potential increase of biodiversity in northern ecosystems due to climate change), and an early assessment of the conservation implications generated by our team work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Coral Ecosystem Resilience, Conservation and Management on the Reefs of Jamaica in the Face of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Change
Diversity 2010, 2(6), 881-896; doi:10.3390/d2060881
Received: 13 March 2010 / Revised: 26 April 2010 / Accepted: 18 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1573 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge of factors that are important in reef resilience and integrity help us understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The North Jamaican fringing reefs have shown some recent resilience to acute disturbances from hurricanes and bleaching, in addition
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Knowledge of factors that are important in reef resilience and integrity help us understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The North Jamaican fringing reefs have shown some recent resilience to acute disturbances from hurricanes and bleaching, in addition to the recurring chronic stressors of over-fishing and land development. Factors that can improve coral reef resilience are reviewed, and reef rugosity is shown to correlate with coral cover and growth, particularly for branching Acropora species. The biodiversity index for the Jamaican reefs was lowered after the 2005 mass bleaching event, as were the numbers of coral colonies, but both had recovered by 2009. The importance of coastal zone reef management strategies and the economic value of reefs are discussed, and a protocol is suggested for future management of Jamaican reefs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Frogs, Fish and Forestry: An Integrated Watershed Network Paradigm Conserves Biodiversity and Ecological Services
Diversity 2011, 3(3), 503-530; doi:10.3390/d3030503
Received: 4 August 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 1 September 2011 / Published: 15 September 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3154 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Successfully addressing the multitude of stresses influencing forest catchments, their native biota, and the vital ecological services they provide humanity will require adapting an integrated view that incorporates the full range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances acting on these landscapes and their embedded
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Successfully addressing the multitude of stresses influencing forest catchments, their native biota, and the vital ecological services they provide humanity will require adapting an integrated view that incorporates the full range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances acting on these landscapes and their embedded fluvial networks. The concepts of dendritic networks, disturbance domains, the stream continuum, and hydrologic connectivity can facilitate this integration. Managing catchments based on these combined concepts would better maintain all the components of watersheds and the interacting processes that comprise their ecological integrity. To examine these ideas, I review riparian protection regulations in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, regulations considered by many to be among the best available, and evaluate their ability to protect headwater amphibians. I present evidence for the inadequacy of these rules to maintain robust populations of these amphibians, and discuss the implications of these shortcomings for downstream-dwelling coho salmon. Emphasizing headwaters (1st to 3rd-order channels), I discuss disturbance regimes and how differences in their fluvial and geomorphic processes determine the structuring of channels, their internal environments, and the composition of the resident biota. I examine amphibian dependence on specific channel attributes, and discuss links between their abundances, altered attribute states, and natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Using these examples, I discuss the limitations of current protections to maintain key attributes necessary to support robust populations of headwater amphibians, and via hydrologic connectivity, many downstream organisms. I propose that the goal of maintaining whole catchment biodiversity and ecological services could be improved by managing watersheds based on integrating science-based network organizing concepts and evaluating and adjusting outcomes with a suite of responsive bio-indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management)
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