Towards the global monitoring of biodiversity change

Departamento de Engenharia Civil e Arquitectura, Instituto Superior Técnico, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Impact Factor: 16.2). 04/2006; 21(3):123-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.10.015
Source: PubMed


Governments have set the ambitious target of reducing biodiversity loss by the year 2010. The scientific community now faces the challenge of assessing the progress made towards this target and beyond. Here, we review current monitoring efforts and propose a global biodiversity monitoring network to complement and enhance these efforts. The network would develop a global sampling programme for indicator taxa (we suggest birds and vascular plants) and would integrate regional sampling programmes for taxa that are locally relevant to the monitoring of biodiversity change. The network would also promote the development of comparable maps of global land cover at regular time intervals. The extent and condition of specific habitat types, such as wetlands and coral reefs, would be monitored based on regional programmes. The data would then be integrated with other environmental and socioeconomic indicators to design responses to reduce biodiversity loss.

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    • "Such an adaptive management strategy has the potential, if properly informed, to improve the effectiveness of existing protected areas, especially within the context of global environmental change where responsiveness and flexibility are likely to be key elements of successful long-term conservation efforts (Pressey et al. 2007, Hole et al. 2009, Bagchi et al. 2013). Birds have long been used as indicators of ecological condition and biodiversity status within and outside of protected areas (Rodrigues et al. 2004, Pereira and Cooper 2006, Butchart et al. 2010), in part due to the availability of large amounts of high-quality data, and birds have played an important role in the development of adaptive and cooperative management strategies among agencies and organizations. However, current assessments of conservation needs of birds are often constrained to the breeding season, a period of time when data are typically easier to acquire (Faaborg et al. 2010a). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the face of global environmental change, the importance of protected areas in biological management and conservation is expected to grow. Birds have played an important role as biological indicators of the effectiveness of protected areas, but with little consideration given to where species occur outside the breeding season. We estimated weekly probability of occurrence for 308 bird species throughout the year within protected areas in the western contiguous USA using eBird occurrence data for the combined period 2004 to 2011. We classified species based on their annual patterns of occurrence on lands having intermediate conservation mandates (GAP status 2 and 3) administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS). We identified species having consistent annual association with one agency, and species whose associations across the annual cycle switched between agencies. BLM and USFS GAP status 2 and 3 lands contained low to moderate proportions of species occurrences, with proportions highest for species that occurred year-round or only during the summer. We identified two groups of species whose annual movements resulted in changes in stewardship responsibilities: (1) yearround species that occurred on USFS lands during the breeding season and BLM lands during the nonbreeding season; and (2) summer species that occurred on USFS lands during the breeding season and BLM lands during spring and autumn migration. Species that switched agencies had broad distributions, bred on high-elevation USFS lands, were not more likely to be identified as species of special management concern, and migrated short (year-round species) to long distances (summer species). Our findings suggest cooperative efforts that address the requirements of short-distance migratory species on GAP status 2 lands (n ¼ 20 species) and GAP status 3 lands (n¼24) and long-distance migratory species on GAP status 2 lands (n¼9) would likely benefit their populations. Such efforts may prove especially relevant for species whose seasonal movements result in associations with different environments containing contrasting global change processes and management mandates.
    Ecological Applications 08/2015; 25(1):39. DOI:10.1890/14-0702.1 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    • "(P.J. Magã na). consideration the concept of monitoring (Lindenmayer and Likens, 2010; Pereira and Cooper, 2006). According to Lindenmayer and Likens, the protocols used to satisfy legislation requirements must be focused on identifying trends in structural and functional features of habitats. "
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    ABSTRACT: The implementation of the Natura 2000 network requires methods to assess the conservation status of habitats. This paper shows a methodological approach that combines the use of (satellite) Earth observation with ontologies to monitor Natura 2000 habitats and assess their functioning. We have created an ontological system called Savia that can describe both the ecosystem functioning and the behaviour of abiotic factors in a Natura 2000 habitat. This system is able to automatically download images from MODIS products, create indicators and compute temporal trends for them. We have developed an ontology that takes into account the different concepts and relations about indicators and temporal trends, and the spatio-temporal components of the datasets. All the information generated from datasets and MODIS images, is stored into a knowledge base according to the ontology. Users can formulate complex questions using a SPARQL end-point. This system has been tested and validated in a case study that uses Quercus pyrenaica Willd. forests as a target habitat in Sierra Nevada (Spain), a Natura 2000 site. We assess ecosystem functioning using NDVI. The selected abiotic factor is snow cover. Savia provides useful data regarding these two variables and reflects relationships between them.
    International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 05/2015; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.jag.2014.09.003 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    • "Biodiversity can be quantified at different levels of biological organization (i.e. from the molecular to the ecosystem level), but species diversity and abundance still represent the most intuitive and widely used measures of biodiversity (Butchart et al. 2010; Colwell & Coddington 1994; Tittensor et al. 2014). That is because these two measures are both ecological and evolutionary measures and strongly positively correlated with other levels of biodiversity organization, such as genetic diversity and ecosystem functioning (Pereira & Cooper 2006). Any local monitoring program should acknowledge that monitoring data need to be collated at different scales, including the global scale, to be able to inform about trends, status and changes of biodiversity and to have a representative overview of environmental gradients in different areas of the world and for all taxonomic groups (Collen et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Convention on Biological Diversity's strategic plan lays out five goals: “(A) address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society; (B) reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use; (C) improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity; (D) enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services; (E) enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.” To meet and inform on the progress towards these goals, a globally coordinated approach is needed for biodiversity monitoring that is linked to environmental data and covers all biogeographic regions. During a series of workshops and expert discussions, we identified nine requirements that we believe are necessary for developing and implementing such a global terrestrial species monitoring program. The program needs to design and implement an integrated information chain from monitoring to policy reporting, to create and implement minimal data standards and common monitoring protocols to be able to inform Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), and to develop and optimize semantics and ontologies for data interoperability and modelling. In order to achieve this, the program needs to coordinate diverse but complementary local nodes and partnerships. In addition, capacities need to be built for technical tasks, and new monitoring technologies need to be integrated. Finally, a global monitoring program needs to facilitate and secure funding for the collection of long-term data and to detect and fill gaps in under-observed regions and taxa. The accomplishment of these nine requirements is essential in order to ensure data is comprehensive, to develop robust models, and to monitor biodiversity trends over large scales. A global terrestrial species monitoring program will enable researchers and policymakers to better understand the status and trends of biodiversity.
    Journal for Nature Conservation 05/2015; 25:51 - 57. DOI:10.1016/j.jnc.2015.03.003 · 1.65 Impact Factor
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