Dbytes #169 (14 October 2014)

 Info & news for members and associates of the Environmental Decision Group

“Despite individual success stories, the average risk of extinction for birds, mammals, amphibians and corals shows no sign of decreasing.” GDO4 (see item 1).

General News

1. Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 released

2. 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan released

3. ABARES issued ‘Land management practice trends in Australia’.

4. WWF releases 10th Living Planet Report

5. Communicating biodiversity to farmers: developing the right tools

EDG News

Melbourne: Chris Ives untaps the Potential of Science-Government Partnerships to Benefit Urban Nature
Brisbane: Tessa Mazor’s PhD collaboration paper featured in EU news alert Canberra: Alessio Mortelliti on population responses of the hazel dormouse
Perth: Jodi Price, Rachel Standish and Melinda Moir spoke at the International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS) Annual conference

-~<>~-

General News

1. Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 released A new United Nations report on the status of biodiversity has warned that much more efficient use of land, water, energy and materials is needed to meet globally-agreed targets by 2020. The report – Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 – was released on 6 October at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The report tracked progress made to date on the 20 biodiversity goals agreed upon in 2010 in the Japanese city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture and drew attention to the implications of broader sustainable development this century. It cautioned that continuing with “business as usual” in present patterns of behaviour, consumption, production and economic incentives would not allow realisation of the vision of a world with ecosystems capable of meeting human needs into the future. At the COP-12 meeting, United Nations Environment Program Executive Director, Achim Steiner, called for increased financial investment and policy action to protect biodiversity. “Studies show that it will be difficult to reach the full set of the Aichi targets if we remain within the current trajectory, due to accumulated and increased pressures on the natural world,” he said. http://www.cbd.int/doc/press/2014/pr-2014-10-06-gbo4-en.pdf

-~<>~-

2. 20 Year Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan released

http://20yearplan.antarctica.gov.au/home -~<>~-

3. ABARES issued ‘Land management practice trends in Australia’. 

The Land management practice trends in Australia dataset provides information that helps track trends in the adoption of key land management practices in Australia over time. It contains detailed statistics on a variety of land management practices undertaken by Australian agricultural businesses, including: tillage, crop residue management, managing soil acidity, and ground cover management, as well as farm manager characteristics. It focuses on practices that are expected to improve soil condition in the grazing, broadcare cropping, horticulture and dairy industries. http://www.daff.gov.au/ABARES/Pages/display.aspx?url=http://143.188.17.20/anrdl/DAFFService/display.php?fid=pb_lmptag9ablm20140917_11a.xml -~<>~-

4. WWF releases 10th Living Planet Report

Global wildlife populations have declined by more than half in just 40 years as measured in WWF’s Living Planet Index. If the rest of the world lived like Australians, we’d need 3.6 planet Earths to sustain our total demands on nature. The tenth edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report, launched at the United Nations in Geneva today, is a stark call to action for a world living beyond its means. http://www.wwf.org.au/news_resources/?11020/Australia-in-the-red-on-environmental-balance-sheet-Living-Planet-Report

-~<>~-

5. Communicating biodiversity to farmers: developing the right tools

Two metrics for informing farmers about the biodiversity on their land are presented in a recent Swiss study: average species richness and farm ‘uniqueness’. These are both easy to understand and comparable between farms, the researchers say. They conducted biodiversity assessments on 19 grassland farms in Switzerland to help identify such a metric. Their assessment method consisted of mapping habitats on each farm, interviewing farmers about their management practices and counting plants, spiders, earthworms and bees within one randomly-selected habitat on each farm. Source: Lüscher, G., Schneider, M. K., Turnbull, L. A., et al. (2014). Appropriate metrics to inform farmers about species diversity. Environmental Science & Policy. 41, 52–62. Doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.04.012Zanobetti, A., Dominici, F., Wang, Y., & Schwartz, J. D. (2014). A national case-crossover analysis of the short-term effect of PM2.5 on hospitalizations and mortality in subjects with diabetes and neurological disorders. Environmental Health. 13(1), 38. DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-38. This study is free to view at: www.ehjournal.net/content/13/1/38

-~<>~-

EDG News

Melbourne: Chris Ives untaps the Potential of Science-Government Partnerships to Benefit Urban Nature
Chris Ives has posted another entry on The Nature of Cities blog in collaboration with Yvonne Lynch from the City of Melbourne. Entitled “Untapping the Potential of Science-Government Partnerships to Benefit Urban Nature”, the post discusses how we can foster better collaboration between scientists and government practitioners. You can access the post here: http://www.thenatureofcities.com/?p=6785

Brisbane: Tessa Mazor’s PhD collaboration paper featured in EU news alert
There are around 10,000 people subscribed to this news service (called ‘Science for the Environment’). Tessa’s paper was on how collaboration can cut the cost of establishing marine protected areas. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/marine_protected_areas_costs_cut_388na1_en.pdf

Canberra: Alessio Mortelliti on population responses of the hazel dormouse

Abstract: Patch size, isolation and quality are key factors influencing species persistence in fragmented landscapes. However, we still lack a detailed understanding of how these variables exert their effects on populations inhabiting fragmented landscapes. At which ecological scale do they have an effect (e.g., individuals versus populations) and, on which demographic parameters? We report the results of a large-scale, three-year study focused on the relative effects of patch size, isolation and quality on individuals and populations of an arboreal rodent, the hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius). We examined 30 sites nested within three landscapes characterized by contrasting levels of habitat amount and habitat quality (food resources). We quantified the effects of patch size and quality on the response of individuals (survival and litter size) and populations (density and colonization/extinction dynamics). We identified demographic mechanisms which led to population turnover. Habitat quality positively affected survival (not litter size) and population density (measured through an index). We infer that the decline in survival due to patch quality reduced patch recolonization rather than increasing extinction, while extinction was mainly affected by patch size. Our findings suggest that the effect of patch quality on individual and population parameters was constrained by the physical structure of the surrounding landscapes. At the same time, our results highlight the importance of preserving habitat quality to help the persistence of entire systems of patches

Ref: Mortelliti, A., Sozio, G., Driscoll, D.A., Bani, L., Boitani, L. and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2014). Population and individual-scale responses to patch size, isolation and quality in the hazel dormouse. Ecosphere, 5, Article 107. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00115.1

Perth: Jodi Price, Rachel Standish and Melinda Moir spoke at the International Association of Vegetation Science (IAVS) Annual conference
Jodi Price and Rachel Standish were invited keynote speakers at the 57th Annual International Association of Vegetation Science Conference held in Perth, WA recently. Jodi gave a presentation on the search for generalities in community assembly using examples from her own work and other recent studies. The main focus was on the relationship between species functional differences and small scale environmental variation, and how this effects community assembly processes. Rachel spoke about the key contributions of restoration ecology to ecological theory focusing on 3 key areas – community assembly, ecological thresholds, and links between biodiversity and ecosystem function. Melinda presented some recent results showing links between herbaceous plant traits and invertebrate trait variability in different restoration planting treatments. The conference was a success with ~280 participants from many countries. (www.iavs2014.com)

-~<>~-

About Dbytes Dbytes is the eNewsletter of the Environmental Decisions Group. If you have any contributions to Dbytes (ie, opportunities and resources that you think might think be of value to other Dbyte readers) please send them to David Salt (David.Salt@anu.edu.au). Please keep them short and provide a link for more info. Also, email David if you want to unsubscribe (or subscribe someone else). While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it.

 

About EDG The Environmental Decision Group (EDG) is a network of conservation researchers working on the science of effective decision making to better conserve biodiversity. Our members are largely based at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, RMIT and CSIRO. The EDG is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence program (CEED). CEED: http://ceed.edu.au/ NERP ED: http://www.nerpdecisions.edu.au/ EDG: http://www.edg.org.au/

EDG major events: http://www.edg.org.au/events.html Decision Point: http://www.decision-point.com.au/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s