Dbytes #185 (23 February 2015)

 

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

“In many cases, herbivore control programs might provide a more cost-effective and practically feasible means of enhancing biosequestration [of carbon] than active tree planting.” Bengsen and Cox 2014 (see item 5)

General News

1. Decision Point en Espanol is now available!

2. Sana Bau would like your input into her survey on evidence and conservation management.

3. Advice on dropbox and earlier versions of files

4. Protected Areas Governance and Management textbook now available

5. The role of rabbit and other invasive herbivore control in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions

EDG News

Melbourne: QAECO report back on the 2015 Research Bazaar
Canberra:
Philip Barton on learning from clinical medicine to improve the use of surrogates in ecology
Perth:
On farmer’s opinions about foreign direct investment
Brisbane:
Nathalie Butt on indigenous forest use and implications for carbon payments

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General News

1. Decision Point en Espanol is now available! Decision Point en Espanol is now online and ready for downloading (or you can visit individual stories). You can read about how this special issue came to be at http://decision-point.com.au/?article=decision-point-goes-spanish or check out the real thing at: http://decision-point.com.au/?article=decision-point-en-espanol-conozca-el-equipo

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2. Sana Bau would like your input into her survey on evidence and conservation management. From Sana: “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral since 1985, but determining cause and appropriate management is difficult. Help me understand how evidence informs what you think is the best option for protecting the Great Barrier Reef by taking part in a short (~10 minute) study. All are welcome to participate.” http://bioqueries.com/sana/info.php

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3. Advice on dropbox and earlier versions of files

Ascelin Gordon from RMIT has some advice for anyone using Dropbox “Given the ubiquity with which dropbox is now being used by EDG members it might be nice to share this tip in a Dbytes in case there are others like myself who don’t know about this feature. “Did you know that Dropbox stores all versions of every file for the last 30 days. So at any point you can revert back to an earlier version of a file anytime within the last 30 days. This can be particularly useful for collaborative projects where multiple people might edit the same file. See the dropbox help centre here for instructions on how to use this feature: https://www.dropbox.com/help/11

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4. Protected Areas Governance and Management textbook now available

Congratulations to Graeme Worboys, his co-editors, ANU Press and the many others (including a number of EDG folk), on the release this week of the 990 page e-text “Protected Areas Governance and Management”. It’s available free at http://press.anu.edu.au/titles/protected-area-governance-and-management-2/protected-area-governance-and-management/

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5. The role of rabbit and other invasive herbivore control in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions According to a report from the Invasive Animals CRC, controlling feral animals such as rabbits, goats and camels could provide a cost-effective contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions targets while also generating important benefits for agricultural productivity, regional communities and the environment. http://www.feral.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/HerbivoreGreenhouse_BengsenCox.pdf

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EDG News

Melbourne: QAECO report back on the 2015 Research Bazaar [from Saras, Amy, Elise, Fin, Kate, Mik and Rosanna] “A group of QAECOlogists attended the inaugural Research Bazaar conference held at The University of Melbourne last week (16-18 Feb). Participants came from all over Australia, as well as NZ, the US, UK and Canada, for training in next generation digital research tools. The conference had six specific training streams and several smaller elective events…” https://saraswindecker.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/research-bazaar-2015/

Canberra: Philip Barton on learning from clinical medicine to improve the use of surrogates in ecology Surrogates are used widely in ecology to detect or monitor changes in the environment that are too difficult or costly to assess directly. Yet most work on surrogates to date has been correlative, with little work on their predictive capacity or the circumstances under which they work. Our suggestion is to revisit and learn from research in the clinical medical sciences, including the causal statistical frameworks available to validate relationships between treatments, surrogate variables, and the outcome of interest. We adapt this medical thinking to ecology by providing a new framework that involves specification of the surrogate model, statistical validation, and subsequent evaluation in a range of spatial and temporal contexts. An inter-disciplinary surrogate concept will allow for a more rigorous approach to validating and evaluating proxy variables, thus advancing the selection and application of surrogates in ecology. Reference: Barton PS, Pierson JC, Westgate MJ, Lane PW, Lindenmayer DB (2015). Learning from clinical medicine to improve the use of surrogates in ecology. Oikos, 000: 001–008 doi: 10.1111/oik.02007

Perth: On farmer’s opinions about foreign direct investment Marit Kragt, Fiona Gibson and UWA Honours student Fraser Stewart have received a fair bit of interest on their research into farmers’ opinions about foreign direct investment in agriculture. Media articles on the topic have appeared on ABC Rural: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-10/uwa-study-reveals-wa-farmers-support-foreign-investment/6082682 and their working paper can be found at: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/handle/198540

Brisbane: Nathalie Butt on indigenous forest use and implications for carbon payments Nathalie recently led a study in Amazonian Guyana that showed that well-trained local workers are capable of assessing and monitoring carbon on their lands; and that only using remotely sensed data for forest carbon assessments may result in inaccurate estimates. They suggest that indigenous people should be partners in REDD+ and similar schemes. The story has been written up at Mongabay.com (see http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0219-gfrn-sekar-guyana-carbon-stocks.html) Reference: Butt, N., Epps, K., Overman, H., Iwamura, T., & Fragoso, J. M. (2015). Assessing carbon stocks using indigenous peoples’ field measurements in Amazonian Guyana. Forest Ecology and Management, 338, 191-199.

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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. While Dbytes is primarily aimed at members of the EDG, anyone is welcome to receive it. To unsubscribe or change your details please visit: http://lists.science.uq.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/dbites

Please pass this link to any others who may want to subscribe too.

 

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/

 

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