Richard James Ladle

Richard James Ladle
University of Porto | UP · Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO)

B.Sc., D.Phil.

About

255
Publications
129,545
Reads
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Introduction
Richard Ladle is the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems Research at CIBIO in Portugal. His research interests include human-nature interactions, conservation biogeography and the use of new technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of wildlife conservation. His geographic focus of interest is the tropics in general, and Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazil in particular.
Additional affiliations
March 2015 - September 2020
Universidade Federal de Alagoas
Position
  • Professor (Full)
June 2011 - April 2015
Universidade Federal de Alagoas
Position
  • Professor
March 2009 - August 2011
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
Position
  • Professor
Education
October 1990 - October 1993
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Theoretical Ecology
October 1987 - June 1990
Newcastle University
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (255)
Article
Full-text available
Social media data is a rich source of information to assess human activities in catastrophic events. Here, we use social media data to understand how the 2019 Brazilian oil spill influenced social attitudes. Data were collected from the globally popular Instagram platform between August 1, 2019 and March 1, 2020. First, we manually identified the 5...
Article
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Biodiversity data can be analysed to predict species distribution at various scales of time and space. However, survey completeness and temporal decay in data quality introduce uncertainty into biodiversity models. Researchers Joaquín Hortal, Juliana Stropp (National Museum of Natural Sciences, Spain), Richard Ladle (University of Porto, Portugal),...
Article
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In August 2019, the Northeast coast of Brazil was impacted by an extensive oil spill, with immediate effects on marine and coastal ecosystems and signifi cant impacts on tourism and food security. The human dimension of those impacts also includes the loss of cultural ecosystem services (CES); the non-material benefi ts stemming from strongly roote...
Article
Crowdsourced social media data has become popular for assessing cultural ecosystem services (CES). Nevertheless, social media data analyses in the context of CES can be time consuming and costly, particularly when based on the manual classification of images or texts shared by people. The potential of deep learning for automating the analysis of cr...
Article
An extensive network of Protected Areas (PA) has been established across the Brazilian Amazon, but this PA system still suffers from a shortage of funding resources and environmental managers. New conservation strategies that successfully align social aspirations with biodiversity conservation are therefore imperative. Although approaches exist tha...
Article
The ongoing global biodiversity crisis not only involves biological extinctions, but also the loss of experience and the gradual fading of cultural knowledge and collective memory of species. We refer to this phenomenon as 'societal extinction of species' and apply it to both extinct and extant taxa. We describe the underlying concepts as well as t...
Article
Oil pollution has signifi cantly contributed to coral reef decline in the last fi ve decades and a major oil spill reached Brazilian tropical coast in August 2019. Here, we report the fi rst evidence of direct crude oil contact from that spill on reef coral species, and evaluate the effects of this disaster on coral vitality and benthic assemblage...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) are subject to many sources of uncertainty, limiting their application in research and practice. One of their main limitations is the quality of the distributional data used to calibrate them, which directly influences the accuracy of model predictions. We propose a standardized methodology to create maps, describ...
Article
Continental runoff is an important source of solutes and nutrients to coastal coral reefs. Nevertheless, they can also act as local stressors due to high coastal urbanization and associated release of untreated effluents. Here we aimed to evaluate qualitatively the effects of seasonality over reefs from the Costa dos Corais Marine Protected Area (B...
Article
Protected areas (PAs) are often seen as opportunity costs and are therefore vulnerable to political decisions that open them up to public or private development initiatives. We reasoned that, ceteris paribus, PAs with high levels of public support should be more resilient to such decisions because; i) politicians in democratic societies are relucta...
Article
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are benefits that people receive from ecosystems, for example, through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, recreation, and aesthetic experiences. These are important contributors to human well-being, but are challenging to measure due to their intangible nature and because they may vary spatially depending...
Article
Finding new pathways for reconciling socioeconomic well-being and nature sustainability is critically important for contemporary societies, especially in tropical developing countries where sustaining local livelihoods often clashes with biodiversity conservation. Many projects aimed at reconciling the goals of biodiversity conservation and social...
Article
Protected areas (PAs) are the main spatial policy instrument for conserving biodiversity and have expanded dramatically in the last 30 years. This expansion has not been matched by a corresponding increase in financial investment, leaving many parks without sufficient resources for essential management actions. Moreover, in some parts of the world...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions with nature promote key human health benefits and help inform sound conservation actions. During the COVID-19 lockdowns such interactions were reduced and, in many cases, limited to urban nature. Nevertheless, home-confinement regulations may have provided the impetus for people to reconnect with urban wildlife –through their windows,...
Article
The last two decades has seen a global trend in Marine Protected Area (MPA) management from top-down to more bottom-up approaches. Moreover, recent research suggests that evaluation of MPA performance should be participative, fully engaging multiple stakeholders, including local community representatives, in the assessment process. The effectivenes...
Article
Troumbis, 2021 identifies three main challenges/criticisms with our article that we will respond to in turn. First, they suggest that there is a "semantic circularity entrapment" of findings reported and conclusions drawn. Notwithstanding the somewhat confusing phrasing of this criticism , it is undoubtedly correct to highlight the circular reasoni...
Article
Protected Areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of global conservation action and the most effective strategy for conserving the Earth’s biodiversity. Nevertheless, there is evidence that PAs are increasingly viewed by politicians and policy-makers as opportunity costs that constrain economic development. In the absence of societal resistance (‘push-back...
Article
In our paper “No visit, no interest: How COVID-19 has affected public interest in world's national parks” (Souza et al., 2021) we use culturomic data and methods to provide a global overview of internet search interest in national parks during and before the COVID-19 pandemic. Our analysis highlighted steep and widespread declines in searches for...
Article
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Fruit flies are economically important pests that infest a wide variety of host trees. The environmental damage caused by traditional pesticide-based control methods has prompted scientists to seek less damaging alternatives such as biological control by native species. Parasitoids, especially Braconidae species, have excellent potential as biologi...
Article
Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstone of global conservation policy and have expanded dramatically over the last century. Though unequivocally beneficial for biodiversity, gazetting land for protecting nature can also be seen as an 'opportunity cost' that some politicians are unwilling to pay. One of the most effective strategies to increase th...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing loss of biological diversity is primarily the result of unsustainable human behavior. Thus, the long-term success of biodiversity conservation depends on a thorough understanding of human-nature interactions. Such interactions are ubiquitous but vary greatly in time and space and are difficult to monitor efficiently at large spatial scales....
Article
The World Wide Web became broadly available in August 1991, ushering in the Information Age and catalyzing profound changes in almost every aspect of human endeavor. This new age is characterized by online connectivity, real‐time interactions, and the convergence of information and communication technology, institutions, people, and processes (Cast...
Article
In August 2019, a major oil spill hit nine Brazilian coastal states, affecting marine ecosystems and fishing communities. In this study, we assess the immediate social and economic impacts of this oil spill on fishing communities of the northeast coast. We conducted semi-structured interviews and focal meetings with 381 fishers and shellfish gather...
Article
Full-text available
The use of digital content has become a powerful tool to evaluate and track macro-scale trends in human-nature relations. This is an emerging field of study known as conservation culturomics, that seeks to understand human culture through quantitative analysis in large bodies of digital content. Here, we used relative search volume on Google Search...
Preprint
Full-text available
Studies focused on the drivers of change in species composition often fail to integrate several aspects of beta diversity and scale. Here, we assess the impact of species pool, environmental gradients, geographic distance, and spatial scale on the diversity of epiphytic bryophytes. We identify biogeographic modules of co-occurring species using net...
Article
Conservation's capacity to deal with anthropogenic environmental threats within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) varies enormously, especially in developing countries that are often immersed in weak enforcement, ineffective management and shortages of resources. A deeper understanding of the causes of these threats is fundamental for identifying effec...
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing digital revolution in the age of big data is opening new research opportunities. Culturomics and iEcology, two emerging research areas based on the analysis of online data resources, can provide novel scientific insights and inform conservation and management efforts. To date, culturomics and iEcology have been applied primarily in the...
Article
Full-text available
As áreas protegidas (APs) são as principais ferramentas capazes de assegurar a preservaçãodos sistemas naturais e sua respectiva biodiversidade, principalmente no caso de áreas com prioridade para conservação, como ocorre com as áreas úmidas. A implementação de APs tem potencial para gerar benefícios fundamentais para proteger paisagens icônicas, e...
Article
Abstract: Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) generates unique data sets that have the potential to identify and quantify trends in ecological processes that may be difficult to detect at lower temporal resolutions. Even though many LTER sites are within protected areas, they do not necessarily produce data that are well aligned with the objective...
Article
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) aims to monitor natural ecological processes that operate over longer time periods than are typically permitted by standard research grants (e.g. species life cycles, natural resource dynamics, and the ecological effects of climate changes). Despite the enormous success of LTER, many of the initial projects larg...
Article
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Driscoll et al. (Journal of Biogeography, 2019, 46, 2850–2859) provide a critique of ‘Countryside Biogeography’, but also include ‘Conservation Biogeography’ and ‘Agriculture Biogeography’ in their criticisms. Their main thesis is that these new sub‐disciplines offer a ‘conceptual wrapper’ rather than distinctive frameworks and that the consequent...
Article
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Digital data are accumulating at unprecedented rates. These contain a lot of information about the natural world, some of which can be used to answer key ecological questions. Here, we introduce iEcology (i.e., internet ecology), an emerging research approach that uses diverse online data sources and methods to generate insights about species distr...
Article
Scientific knowledge of species and the ecosystems they inhabit is the cornerstone of modern conservation. However, research effort is not spread evenly among taxa (taxonomic bias), which may constrain capacity to identify conservation risk and to implement effective responses. Addressing such biases requires an understanding of factors that promot...
Research
Full-text available
The mysterious oil spill that occurred off the northeast coast of Brazil in August 2019 has generated considerable coverage in the global media and was recently documented by Escobar in Science (1). Further commentaries quickly followed as scientists drew attention to the consequences of government inaction (2, 3, 4), and the potential ecological i...
Article
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The remarkable biodiversity of the Brazilian Amazon is poorly documented and threatened by deforestation. When undocumented areas become deforested, in addition to losing the fauna and flora, we lose the opportunity to know which unique species had occupied a habitat. Here we quantify such knowledge loss by calculating how much of the Brazilian Ama...
Article
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Aims The survival and distribution of plant species in the extreme environmental conditions of semi-arid regions is strongly dependent on traits associated with drought resistance. Seed weight may be particularly important, since larger seeds are predicted to promote survival in harsh environments, especially those of low soil moisture. Here, we te...
Article
Full-text available
Assets em Áreas Protegidas: Estudo de Caso em Áreas Úmidas RESUMO-As áreas protegidas (APs) são as principais ferramentas capazes de assegurar a preservação dos sistemas naturais e sua respectiva biodiversidade, principalmente no caso de áreas com prioridade para conservação, como ocorre com as áreas úmidas. A implementação de APs tem potencial par...
Presentation
Full-text available
This is an interview I gave for the People and Nature journal blog about research in Brazil.
Article
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1. Conservation will only be successful over the long term if people support conservation goals. While many factors may influence the level of such support, it is clear that people are more willing to conserve species and places that they are familiar with and which provide them with something they value. 2. Until now this dimension has been largel...
Article
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Abstract Discussions of defaunation and taxon substitution have concentrated on megafaunal herbivores and carnivores, but mainly overlooked the particular ecological importance of megafaunal omnivores. In particular, the Homo spp. have been almost completely ignored in this context, despite the extinction of all but one hominin species present sinc...
Article
When effectively managed, Protected Areas (PAs) are capable of generating multiple forms of value, both tangible and intangible, for individuals and institutions. However, the value-generating potential of many PAs may be going unrecognized and underutilized due to a limited view of management objectives as codified within the parks' Management Pla...
Article
Full-text available
The Caatinga is an ecologically unique semi-arid region of northeast Brazil characterized by high levels of endemism and severe anthropogenic threats from agricultural development and climate change. It is also one of the least known biomes in Brazil due to a combination of inadequate investment, low regional research capacity and difficult working...
Article
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One of the core challenges of functional diversity is the identification of traits that can accurately be linked to ecological processes. Trait-based metrics have been used to detect and quantify the effects of deterministic processes, such as niche filtering and co-occurrence mechanisms. However, most functional studies have simplified the measure...
Article
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In Brazil most forms of hunting and keeping of wild animals are illegal, although they remain widely practiced and are deeply culturally embedded in many regions. The drivers of such widespread non-compliance are poorly understood and evidence to support future policy decisions is generally lacking. In this paper, we seek to stimulate a critical de...
Article
Protected areas are frequently used loci for ecological and conservation research, with several national/international designations identifying scientific research as a key objective. For example, Ecological Stations (ESs) in Brazil are strictly protected areas with the explicit goals of protecting nature and hosting scientific research. Neverthele...
Article
Humans have become such dominant drivers of planetary changes that scientists are now debating the establishment of a new epoch: the Anthropocene. The concept of the Anthropocene has gained rapid visibility, quickly becoming a trademark of 21st century scientific literature. Interestingly, some studies claim that this idea can be traced back to the...
Article
Culturomics is an emerging area of study that explores human culture through the quantitative analysis of large digital bodies of text. Culturomics shows great potential for the study of public perceptions and engagement with nature and biodiversity, and thus to contribute to the assessment and monitoring of major conservation goals (e.g. Aichi Tar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Protected areas are often used by scientists to observe natural processes and organisms in habitats that have been minimally influenced by human actions. In contrast to many PA objectives, their effectiveness for promoting and supporting scientific research can be easily quantified in terms of quantity and quality of scientific products (primarily...
Preprint
Protected areas are often used by scientists to observe natural processes and organisms in habitats that have been minimally influenced by human actions. In contrast to many PA objectives, their effectiveness for promoting and supporting scientific research can be easily quantified in terms of quantity and quality of scientific products (primarily...
Article
Cultural ecosystem services (CES) include non-material values such as recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, and spiritual fulfilment. Such values are culturally specific, and frequently difficult to measure and monetarize. The standard methodology to assess CES is through social surveys, though these are often costly, lack standardization and are geogra...
Poster
Assessing public interest in nature is one of the key areas where culturomics shows great potential to contribute towards conservation science and practice. For example, internet search volume data has been suggested as a potential tool for measuring progress towards Aichi Target 1, which states that ‘by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the...
Presentation
Full-text available
An interview I gave for the MEAM newletter (https://meam.openchannels.org/news/meam/mining-social-media-new-world-abundant-messy-data-and-what-marine-conservation-and) on how we can use culturomics to improve marine conservation management and governance.
Article
In a time when protected areas are under increasing societal and political pressure, ensuring their public visibility and support will be essential to guarantee their long-term maintenance. The high levels of societal participation and global reach of emerging digital technologies provide exciting new opportunities to assess the public salience of...
Article
Full-text available
Artisanal fishers of the upper reaches of the Amazon River use a variety of tactics to catch giant Brachyplatystoma catfish species: Brachyplatystoma vaillantii Valenciennes, Brachyplatystoma rouseauxii (Castelnau) and Brachyplatystoma filamentosum (Lichtenstein). These catfish are migratory, caught with different gears, by different communities, a...
Chapter
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The anthropology of conservation nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) tends to be dominated by individual studies of the work of several organisations. There are good reasons for this—a great deal can be learned from such an approach and anthropologists are well trained and placed to provide the sorts of rich institutional ethnographies that can be...
Article
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The humid forests of Amazonia are experiencing longer and more intense dry seasons, which are predicted to intensify by the end of the 21st century. Although tree species often have long generation times, they may still have the capacity to rapidly respond to changing climatic conditions through adaptive phenotypic plasticity. We, therefore, predic...
Article
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There are various approaches to rewilding, corresponding to different socio-ecological and policy contexts. Most South American ecosystems have experienced Pleistocene and historical defaunation and the functional persistence of many areas will depend on restoration and rewilding. Rewilding is not seen as a priority or as a tool for restoration in...