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Distribution and Habitat Affinity of Endemic and Threatened Species: Global and European Assessment

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  • University of Flensburg (Europa-Universität Flensburg)
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Abstract

Realms of species, assemblages, and whole ecosystems are threatened by human activities such as damage, resource use, pollution, introduction of neobiota, and also by natural processes and disasters. We present an assessment of distribution patterns and numbers of endemic and threatened species with respect to their habitat affinity and threats at global and European scales.

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Humans have always observed their natural surroundings and used signals from the environment—environmental indicators—for survival and wellbeing. This publication provides an overview of the current discussion on environmental indicators, and the way it intersects with biodiversity policy and management at different spatial scales. It considers questions such as what is the meaning of environmental indicators related to biodiversity and ecosystems? How informative are different indicators? How may an environmental indicator help to find solutions for the use and management of ecosystems and the survival of the species it supports?
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Introduction.- Data management and software.- Advice for teachers.- Exploration.- Linear regression.- Generalised linear modelling.- Additive and generalised additive modelling.- Introduction to mixed modelling.- Univariate tree models.- Measures of association.- Ordination--first encounter.- Principal component analysis and redundancy analysis.- Correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis.- Introduction to discriminant analysis.- Principal coordinate analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling.- Time series analysis--Introduction.- Common trends and sudden changes.- Analysis and modelling lattice data.- Spatially continuous data analysis and modelling.- Univariate methods to analyse abundance of decapod larvae.- Analysing presence and absence data for flatfish distribution in the Tagus estuary, Portugual.- Crop pollination by honeybees in an Argentinean pampas system using additive mixed modelling.- Investigating the effects of rice farming on aquatic birds with mixed modelling.- Classification trees and radar detection of birds for North Sea wind farms.- Fish stock identification through neural network analysis of parasite fauna.- Monitoring for change: using generalised least squares, nonmetric multidimensional scaling, and the Mantel test on western Montana grasslands.- Univariate and multivariate analysis applied on a Dutch sandy beach community.- Multivariate analyses of South-American zoobenthic species--spoilt for choice.- Principal component analysis applied to harbour porpoise fatty acid data.- Multivariate analysis of morphometric turtle data--size and shape.- Redundancy analysis and additive modelling applied on savanna tree data.- Canonical correspondence analysis of lowland pasture vegetation in the humid tropics of Mexico.- Estimating common trends in Portuguese fisheries landings.- Common trends in demersal communities on the Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf.- Sea level change and salt marshes in the Wadden Sea: a time series analysis.- Time series analysis of Hawaiian waterbirds.- Spatial modelling of forest community features in the Volzhsko-Kamsky reserve.
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AimNational and international policy frameworks, such as the European Union's Renewable Energy Directive, increasingly seek to conserve and reference ‘highly biodiverse grasslands’. However, to date there is no systematic global characterization and distribution map for grassland types. To address this gap, we first propose a systematic definition of grassland. We then integrate International Vegetation Classification (IVC) grassland types with the map of Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World (TEOW).LocationGlobal.Methods We developed a broad definition of grassland as a distinct biotic and ecological unit, noting its similarity to savanna and distinguishing it from woodland and wetland. A grassland is defined as a non-wetland type with at least 10% vegetation cover, dominated or co-dominated by graminoid and forb growth forms, and where the trees form a single-layer canopy with either less than 10% cover and 5 m height (temperate) or less than 40% cover and 8 m height (tropical). We used the IVC division level to classify grasslands into major regional types. We developed an ecologically meaningful spatial catalogue of IVC grassland types by listing IVC grassland formations and divisions where grassland currently occupies, or historically occupied, at least 10% of an ecoregion in the TEOW framework.ResultsWe created a global biogeographical characterization of the Earth's grassland types, describing approximately 75% of IVC grassland divisions with ecoregions. We mapped 49 IVC grassland divisions. Sixteen additional IVC grassland divisions are absent from the map because of the fine-scale distribution of these grassland types.Main conclusionsThe framework provided by our geographical mapping effort provides a systematic overview of grasslands and sets the stage for more detailed classification and mapping at finer scales. Each regional grassland type can be characterized in terms of its range of biodiversity, thereby assisting in future policy initiatives.
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We use monthly measurements of time-variable gravity from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission to determine the ice mass-loss for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets during the period between April 2002 and February 2009. We find that during this time period the mass loss of the ice sheets is not a constant, but accelerating with time, i.e., that the GRACE observations are better represented by a quadratic trend than by a linear one, implying that the ice sheets contribution to sea level becomes larger with time. In Greenland, the mass loss increased from 137 Gt/yr in 2002-2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007-2009, i.e., an acceleration of -30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 in 2002-2009. In Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002-2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006-2009, i.e., an acceleration of -26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 in 2002-2009. The observed acceleration in ice sheet mass loss helps reconcile GRACE ice mass estimates obtained for different time periods.
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Molero, J. & Rovira, A. M.: Natural hybrids in endemic Canarian dendroid spurges (Euphorbia subsect. Pachycladae). — Willdenowia 35:271–280. — ISSN 0511 -9618; © 2005 BGBM Berlin-Dahlem. doi:10.3372/wi.35.35207 (available via http://dx.doi.org/) The hybridization in Canarian dendroid spurges belonging to Euphorbia subsect. Pachycladae is discussed. Natural hybrids accepted to date are nomenclaturally typified, two new hybrids, E. ×marreroi (E. regis-jubae × E. aphylla) in Gran Canaria and E. xfernandez-lopezii (E. bourgeana × E. berthelotii) in La Gomera, are described, and all hybrids and their parents are morphologically characterised and compared.
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Reserves are frequently constrained in design and size by various financial, social or political factors. Maintenance of existing reserves must therefore rely on strategic management practices, and prioritization of conservation activities within them. Identification of global and regional hotspots have been effective for prioritizing conservation activities. Yet, identification of micro-hotspots, or overlapping areas of endemic and rare species that are under threat at the landscape scale, have largely been ignored. From a reserve management point of view, knowledge of critical micro-hotspots within a reserve, are focal points for directing cost effective, conservation initiatives, especially removal of invasive alien plants which are a major threat to biodiversity.Using diversity patterns of dragonfly assemblages, many endemic and threatened, within a biosphere reserve located in the core of a global biodiversity hotspot, we investigated the concept of micro-hotspots. As biosphere reserves contain zones with varying degrees of anthropogenic impact, we also investigated the value of buffer and transition zones for complementing the dragonfly fauna of the reserve core. We found a distinct micro-hotspot within the protected core zone which shows concordance for both endemism and species richness. We conclude that focused conservation actions to remove invasive alien plants within this micro-hotspot would help insure its continued integrity. Furthermore, while there is greater habitat degradation within the buffer and transition zones, they support many additional species, but not those necessarily endemic or threatened. The complementary value of buffer and transition zones therefore lies in increasing habitat heterogeneity and species richness of the whole reserve.
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This article provides guidelines for the description, documentation, and review of proposals for new or revised plant associations and alliances to be recognized as units of vegetation within the U.S. National Vegetation Classification (NVC). By setting forth standards for field records, analysis, description, peer review, and archiving, the Ecological Society of America's Vegetation Classification Panel, in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee, NatureServe, and others, seeks to advance our common understanding of vegetation and improve our capability to sustain and restore natural systems. We provide definitions for the two floristic levels of the NVC hierarchy: associations and alliances. This is followed by a description of standards for field plot records and the identification and classification of vegetation types. Procedures for review and evaluation of proposed additions and revisions of types are provided, as is a structure for data archiving and dissemination. These procedures provide a dynamic and practical way to publish new or revised descriptions of vegetation types while maintaining a current, authoritative list of types for multiple users to access and apply.
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