Biodiversity & Conservation

Biodiversity & Conservation

  • Andrew A. Olkowski added an answer:
    PLOS ONE, PeerJ or conventional journals for publication? - suggestions for early career professionals
    PLOS ONE, PeerJ and other open access peer reviewed journals are coming as the best alternative academic publications to the conventional journals. There is debate going on which one is better, the image of IMPACT FACTOR is also controversial. What are your thoughts for the early career professionals to publish on the emerging open access journals like PLOS ONE and PeerJ?
    Andrew A. Olkowski

    Generally, I do not publish my papers in Journals that charge the authors $$ for publication.  However, for a very specific reason, last year I submitted my manuscript to PEERJ with understanding that the cost of publication will be $99.  Shortly after the submission, each co-author was contacted by PJ, with invoice  demanding payment from every co-author.  I asked the editorial office to explain this, and it turned out that this is indeed PJ policy, which is buried deeply in legal jargon somewhere in the fine print.  In the end, I decided to withdraw our manuscript, and will never send my work to PJ again.    Indeed, PEERJ is widely advertising the cost of publication capped at $99, but in reality this is not the case. 

  • Julian D. Reynolds added an answer:
    How can we prevent the invasive Signal crayfish from entering Ireland and devastating the last large populations of White-Clawed crayfish?
    Signal Crayfish from the western US were introduced to Sweden and later to England for aquaculture, but they quickly established themselves in rivers and lakes. The species are now present across Europe, with the exception of Ireland. It reaches high densities, is easily trappable, and fetches high prices at market, but it carries an oomycete parasite lethal to non-American crayfish, and its establishment has been followed by the demise of native species and alteration of ecosystems. In Britain it has been shown to damage river banks and reduce recruitment of wild salmonids. The ecological damage is unquestionable, but the desire of people to introduce a new quarry species seems insatiable, despite legislation in place to restrict introductions. Once in Ireland, it is probably too late to do anything about them; trapping has not proven effective to control signals.
    Julian D. Reynolds

    Thank you everyone for contributing. This problem is ongoing, and this summer we have had a crayfish plague outbreak, the first in 30 years. The plague type is associated with signal crayfish, but so far, thankfully, no signal crayfish have been found, leading to the possibility that the oomycete was brought in accidentally. There is a good chance that the outbreak will burn itself out, with the loss of substantial regional stocks, but if signals are confirmed, the widespread Irish stocks of white-clawed crayfish are likely to follow those in UK, France, Spain, Italy etc. into near-extinction.

  • Sachindra Mohan Sahu added an answer:
    Which book would you recommend on the selection of statistical tests in biology or zoology?
    Which book would you recommend on the selection of statistical tests in biology or zoology?
    Sachindra Mohan Sahu


  • Peter Smetacek added an answer:
    Does anyone have information on population dynamics of Snow Apollo (Parnassius) butterflies?
    I am working on Himalayan Parnassius species. Does anyone have information (published or unpublished) about population outbreaks/dips, parasitization and mating behavior of this genus either from Asia or Europe/N. America? If so, I would be grateful for links to papers or, if the data is unpublished, if it is usable in the paper, I would be happy to offer co-authorship.
    Peter Smetacek

    Thank you very much!

  • Jürgen Gross added an answer:
    How to mange the Human Elephant Conflict in Human dominated landscape?
    Every year about a dozen people are killed by wild elephants in Nepal, mostly by the solitary bulls and the conflict is increasing every year. There are a few retaliatory killings of the elephants also in recent years. Most of the elephant habitat is fragmented and there is a high pressure of resource extraction in the remaining forest patches outside protected areas. In such situation, what are the best practices around the world to manage such a conflict?
    Jürgen Gross

    In agricultural areas with high abundance of large herbivores, especially elephants, new approaches to crop protection are needed. The IUCN Red List ranks human-elephant conflicts as one of the three major threats to the species survival. The selection of appropriate, less attractive or even unpalatable crops is an important step to tackle these conflicts. If the pachyderms do not find nutritious and attractive crops on the farms in their home range, reduction of crop losses is very likely. To foster this approach however, more detailed studies are needed, to observe the resistance of the crops in long-term and to identify a larger diversity of unattractive crops. Given a good market access these crops should serve both, people and threatened wildlife species.

    We recently published a research paper on a field experiment which was conducted by Awely and the SLCS in Zambia. We could show that cultivating alternative crops (ginger, garlic, lemon grass) containing allelochemicals which may unattractive or even repellent to elephants, reduces crop losses due to African elephants in South Luangwa, Zambia. The selection of crops which are less attractive, deterrent or repellent to large herbivores needs to be considered as a strategy to reduce conflicts between farmers and endangered wildlife species.

    Please look at our publication.

    • Source
      [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
      ABSTRACT: Throughout the sub-saharan African countries, in which populations of the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) exist, farmers come into conflict with these pachyderms. Attracted by nutritious crops on the fields they destroy substantial amounts of harvest by crossing through the plantations and feeding on the crops. As this species is protected and listed as a threatened species by the IUCN Red List and therefore must not be killed, new ways need to be found to repel or not attract the pachyderms to fields. The replacement of crops, which are attractive to elephants by such, which are not attractive, might be a solution for the agricultural sector in and close to elephant habitats. A field experiment has been conducted to test the attractiveness of potential alternative crops (ginger, onion, garlic and lemon grass) compared to a control plot with maize as a very attractive crop. Elephants visited both, the test crops and the control of maize and completely destroyed the maize six weeks prior to its harvest time. In contrast, the test crops were only slightly damaged, mostly through trampling. In a very late state of the experiment lemon grass and ginger were consumed by the elephants in small quantities. Yields that have been obtained from the test crops would have exceeded the yields of the maize. The selection of crops which are less attractive to large herbivores such as elephants needs to be considered as a strategy to reduce conflicts between farmers and endangered wildlife species.
      Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Pest Science
  • Alexander Jueterbock added an answer:
    Can anyone share his/her experience in modelling species ecological niche based on environmental/anthropogenic variables?
    I’m looking for the best software/approach for modelling/predicting “ECOLOGICALLY” potential distribution of a species based on environmental and anthropogenic variables measured in its distributional habitat.

    Did anyone use R for modelling “species habitat suitability”? Have you any R package with example data or helpful tutorials?
    Alexander Jueterbock

    Just released a new R package that automatizes variable selection in Maxent:

  • Florencia Yannelli added an answer:
    I need some guidelines on how to use the Plant Trait Database (TRY)
    I would like to access some of the plant traits information in this site (seed mass, heigth and so on), but I don't know if I have to ask for it in every case. Some previous experience with this site that can help me? Thank you.
    Florencia Yannelli

    Thanks! I did indeed solved this. luckily in Germany there are other very good databases, so I settle with that. 


  • Vicky M Temperton added an answer:
    How many tree species are there in Europe?
    I was once asked by a Brasilian researcher how many tree species there are in Europe, and I had to admit I did not really know. I could make a guess, but not a very good guess possible. Does anyone know how many there are, and what proportion is deemed native, vs exotic?
    Vicky M Temperton

    I saw a number closer to 150 native species in a recent Science article.

  • Utpal Bhaumik added an answer:
    If I obtain the Shannon-Weiner diversity index as 2.85, what can I interpret from this about the diversity?
    I have calculated the Shannon-Weiner diversity for coral species and have obtained 2.85, what does this value infer about the diversity of the corals?
    Utpal Bhaumik

    To me it appears that calculated species diversity is moderate to high in the system.

  • Franklin M M White added an answer:
    Monarch butterfly numbers drop to lowest level since records started: what can be done about this?
    This concern was promoted in an article in the Guardian newspaper (Wednesday 29 January 2014) : According to this article, the number of Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) wintering in Mexico plunged this year to its lowest level since studies began in 1993, leading experts to announce Wednesday that the insects’ annual migration from the United States and Canada is in danger of disappearing. A study (cited below) released by the World Wildlife Fund, Mexico’s Environment Department and the Natural Protected Areas Commission blames the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, as well as the dramatic reduction of the butterflies’ habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter. What can be done about this? Reference: OMAR VIDAL, JOSÉ LÓPEZ-GARCÍA, EDUARDO RENDÓN-SALINAS. Trends in Deforestation and Forest Degradation after a Decade of Monitoring in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. Conservation Biology (2014) 28; 1: 177–186.
    Franklin M M White

    The following report is extracted verbatim from Bird Studies Canada Latest News - 7 August 2015 <<>:

    "5 August 2015 – Monarch butterfly populations have declined steadily at overwintering sites in Mexico over the last 20 years. Little is known about what’s causing the declines, and whether declines are also occurring across North American breeding grounds, and during southbound migration to Mexico each fall.

    This week, seven monarch studies were published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America <>. The articles examine population trends using data collected by Citizen Scientists. Included in this series is a paper by Dr. Tara Crewe and Jon McCracken of Bird Studies Canada, examining long-term trends in monarch numbers counted migrating through Long Point, Ontario from 1995-2014. Monarchs were counted daily during fall migration by Long Point Bird Observatory volunteers. The results suggest that the number of monarchs migrating through Long Point has declined by up to 7.8% per year since 1995."

    This information may be of interest to those still following this Question topic.

  • Rafael Loyola added an answer:
    Biodiversity analysis software package
    May I request the members of the group to provide me information regarding some "Biodiversity analysis software packages".
    Rafael Loyola

    There is SAM - Spatial Analysis in Macroecology ( The software is ideal for investigating biodiversity patterns and processes that are geographically structured. 

  • Eugenia López López added an answer:
    Fish species distribution?
    I have two questions regarding fish biodiversity.

    Q1. What does it mean if you have a large or small number of families with only one or two species in each of them?

    Q2. What does it mean if you have a large or small number of families with large number of species?

    Do these changes have something to do with the evolution of the families in the area?
    Eugenia López López

    It depends on the biogeographic history of the study area (lake or river, basin etcc). In some cases the study site could be a center of speciation and several speceies of one family could be the result. (i.e. The Mexican Central Plataeu have Goodeids as an endemic family of fish with more than 50 species). But also, the number of species of a same family could be resulted of biological interactions obetween fish of the study site, Some species of the same family use similar resources and can exert competitive displacement. 

  • Giuseppe Bogliani added an answer:
    Which are the effects of airports on wild animals?
    I'm looking for published and unpublished informations on the effects on wildlife of the existence or creation / expansion of airports (apart from the bird strike problem). I'm especially interested in the consequences produced by the noise, air pollution and the existence of a network of roads connecting the airports on the density and reproductive success of animals in the surrounding areas. Is there anyone who can give me any suggestions?
    Giuseppe Bogliani

    Thank you Rubén, I agree that for some birds of the semi-desert, airport are very attractve.



  • Aaron M. Haines added an answer:
    Where can I buy Nyanzol dye?
    Nyanzol dye is commonly used to mark animals in the field, but I don't know where to buy it from. The most I was able to find out is that the manufacturer is Albanil Dyestuffs based in New Jersey, but this company doesn't have a website.
    Aaron M. Haines

    Good find Joanna!  

  • Muhammad Ali added an answer:
    How to calculate "Air temperature" from "land surface temperature"?
    Air temperature from LST (day and night).
    Muhammad Ali

    Hi Sally,

    Did you get any solution to your query? Any updates on the topic please??

  • Jørgen Lissner added an answer:
    Does anyone have advice on the management of fragmented nature?
    We are trying to make cost-efficient management of Danish Natura-2000 areas, also aiming at making nature less fragmented and thus more viable. We consider combining clusters of small occurrences of rich fens, spring-areas, acid grassland etc. with non-nature in to single management units in order to attain minimum grazing pastures of 30-40 hectares (smaller areas are not profitable by cattle owners). At the same time discard small isolated occurrences of nature as these often put restrains on the cultivation of the surrounding farmland, f. ex. amount of fertilizers allowed. Information on practical experience or guidance to relevant literature will be much appreciated.
    Jørgen Lissner

    Thank you Attila

    I will definitely take a look at the suggested papers. Thanks!

  • Aldo Croquer added an answer:
    How can we be sure if populations of Dendrogyra cylindrus are declining in absence of paleontological records?
    Dendrogyra cylindrus is a coral species not very common in Caribbean reefs that might become endangered. Coral populations have been shown to fluctuate in abundance through the passage of geological time.
    Aldo Croquer

    Does anyone have an idea of the sample size neeeded to determine the sex structure of a coral population?

  • Amanda De La Torre added an answer:
    What's an advantage of using structure software for population genetics?
    Population structure, population genetics,
    Amanda De La Torre

    STRUCTURE uses assignment methods to cluster individuals according to their genetic similarity. It can be used to study the genetic structure of a group of populations, or between different hybridizing species. For example, it gives an idea of which populations are more connected through gene flow and which ones are more divergent. If it is used together with other analyses such as PCA, can be very useful for population genetics.

  • Megan Foley added an answer:
    Can any one suggest for me variables which I should consider for canopy research?
    I am working on Project entitled “Protection and utilization concepts for biodiversity of epiphytic plants and of canopy fauna as indicators for sustainable land use management in central Himalayas/Nepal”. I am expecting your constructive idea and parameters which I should consider during field work to address the following points.

    We will establish a biodiversity experiment, which analyzes the influence of human impact on canopy flora and fauna.
    • Forests of different human impact (national park vs managed forest) will be compared.
    • The influence of collection of certain epiphyte groups on the ecosystem functioning of canopy communities will be analyzed by removal of one epiphyte taxon.
    • Most important: Epiphytes and arthropods will be analyzed on the same trees, so that their interrelationships can be studied.
    Based on our results we will develop guidelines for sustainable forest management and canopy biodiversity conservation.
    Megan Foley

    Canopy cover and leaf area index can be assessed using this instrument:

  • Rubén Barone added an answer:
    Anybody know any genus Casuarina work on acting as alien species?
    I've located some individuals naturalized and wanted to know if there are more cases in Europe.
    Rubén Barone

    In the Canary Islands we have some introduced populations (even big, of more than 1 km2) or isolated plants of Casuarina equisetifolia in public gardens and parks, and also in nature, but this species (at least for the moment) is not invasive here. 

  • Max Ringler added an answer:
    Does anyone know of a user friendly software for photo/pattern recognition of individual animals?
    I am trying to do a mark-recapture on a believed to be small populations of Northern Leopard frogs.
    Max Ringler

    Wild-ID, which is around since ~2010, should work with the patterns of your frogs. We use it successfully with the dorsal patterns of Fire Salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) and the ventral patters of poison frogs (Allobates femoralis).

    Look here:

    And here:

  • Vladimír Nemček added an answer:
    Is teaching basic natural history skills at colleges and universities still relevant?
    Job descriptions for new hires at colleges and universities rarely include desired expertise in natural history or field ecology. Are we then missing a basic, foundational skill set to pass on to new students? Or, do such skills lack relevance with the trajectories of environmental research, grants and funding opportunities?
    Vladimír Nemček

    Great discuss, I have few thoughts to natural history. First - it was my interest to study animals in their environment. This is a key point why I have studied Protection and Exploitation of Nature and Landscape. But back to question - I think that it depends on departments, respective if it is biology, molecular biology, ecology, conservation biology...My opinion is that natural history is fundamental discipline for conservation biologists, ecologists and biologists. Because these people work regulary in the field. And also they can work in non-research sector - like for NGOs - where there are these skills very useful and demanded.   

  • Akharasit Bunsongthae added an answer:
    Can anyone help me about the details of Worldclim data for species distribution modeling?
    After I've modeled my species with Worldclim data, soils data, and topography data, the data that has had the most contribution in my modeling were BIO 4 and then BIO14.
    BIO 4 is temperature seasonality (standard deviation * 100), but the question is that Standard deviation of what? And how they have achieved these results?
    And BIO 14 is precipitation of driest month but what is the unit of Bio 14? Is it millimeter? Is it categorical or continuous? Because all of the values in the Bio 14 map that I have for my study area, are 0 or 1 and the precipitation in this area (the habitat of Rheum ribes) is more than 1 mm in driest month.
    I'm working with Maxent software for modeling and I got these results (the contribution of each map) from the part of Analysis of Variable Contribution.
    Akharasit Bunsongthae

    Dear friend, Here is a link. This report provide a description of bioclimatic predictors.

  • Mikhail F. Bagaturov added an answer:
    Are chytrid fungus infections socially faciliated?
    Does any one know if amphibian chytrid fungus disease is socially facilitated? I recently heard talks about its presence in salamander speciesat low levels in the same habitat that frogs were succumbing to it at much higher levels. Maybe chytrid gets an advantage being spread in a chorus aggregations compared to the solitary or lower density salamander breeding aggregations?
    Mikhail F. Bagaturov

    Actually if is quite possible that BD and BS are residental infection which was always present in all parts of the world, but before was not affecting the amphibian populations.. I faced with it clearly with some captive animals. Changes of environment cause its deadly nature.

  • Sundar S added an answer:
    In what way will invasive plant and animal species affect native animal fauna of the freshwater aquatic ecosystems?

    Aquatic biodiversity is increasingly affected and declined through various factors including increasing of temperature due to climate change, anthropogenic effects, invasive species slowly adapted in a particular environmental condition and replaced native species etc. 

    Sundar S

    Thanks Dr.Julian for valuable answer.

  • Manuel Morales added an answer:
    Can street art be a valuable tool for promoting biodiveristy awareness to the general public?
    project overview:
    Manuel Morales

    Diane, perhaps you will find my art experiment and its ramifications of interest -

    The "Flawed Scientific Method" document was designed to go with the public invitation to help science self-correct. In essence, this one page document illustrates for the public the mechanics of the discovery of Einstein's nonlocal hidden variables which in turn revealed how the scientific method is flawed and how to fix it (see "A Flawed Scientific Method" below).

    • Source
      [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
      ABSTRACT: Albert Einstein held the belief that quantum mechanics was an incomplete theory and that there were local hidden variables that would give us a complete sense of reality. As the findings show, he was correct about there being hidden variables. However, he was incorrect as to where to find them. The basketball examples serve to illustrate the findings of the Tempt Destiny experiment and the mechanics involved. The "Flawed Scientific Method" illustrations were designed to go with the public invitation to help science self-correct. In essence, this one page document illustrates for the public the mechanics of the discovery of Einstein's nonlocal hidden variables which in turn revealed how the scientific method is fundamentally flawed and how to fix it.
      Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015

    + 1 more attachment

  • Rubén Barone added an answer:
    Do you know how many species of critically endangered terrestrial mammals you have in your country?
    I'm interested to consolidate the information for everyone to see the number of species of critically endangered mammals globally.
    Rubén Barone

    In the Canary Islands we have very few native terrestrial mammals, apart from three extinct endemic rodents. One of them is Crocidura canariensis, endangered and present only in Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and some nearby islets. Also, Barbastella barbastellus guanchae is an endangered bat, probably the most scarce Chiroptera species in the archipelago and considered an endemic subspecies. In any case, none of them has been classified by IUCN as "Critically Endangered". In the case of the shrew, its conservation category is Endangered B1ab(ii,iii). 

  • Libor Dvořák added an answer:
    What's the best bait for butterfly traps?
    I know about rotting fruit, mammal dung and rotten fish or meat, but I don't know which one is the most efficient.
    Libor Dvořák

    John, if you have any Dermaptera and Mecoptera from your bait traps, I would highly appreciate such material.

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Totality of genes, species and ecosystems of a region.

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