The roles of people in conservation

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1 Oxford Scholarship Online You are looking at 1-10 of 23 items for: fulltext : climate change science research context history systems findings biocon bioeco The roles of people in conservation C. Anne Claus, Kai M. A. Chan, and Terre Satterfield acprof:oso/ In this chapter, C. Anne Claus, Kai M. A. Chan and Terre Satterfield highlight that understanding human activities and human roles in conservation is fundamental to effective conservation. Conservation is inherently a social process operating in a social context. As such, conservationists will benefit from a nuanced understanding of people's perceptions and behaviors as individuals and in organizations and institutions. While there is no easy recipe for how local resource users should participate in modern conservation initiatives, attentiveness to resource rights and equity are critical in every conservation project. A successful conservation movement will effectively integrate the natural sciences and diverse fields of social research. Ecosystem functions and services Cagan H. Sekercioglu acprof:oso/ In this chapter, Cagan H. Sekercioglu recapitulates natural ecosystem functions and services. Ecosystem services are the set of ecosystem functions that are useful to humans. These services make the planet inhabitable by supplying and purifying the air we breathe and the water we drink. Water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur are the major global biogeochemical cycles. Disruptions of these cycles can lead to floods, droughts, climate change, pollution, acid rain, and Page 1 of 7

2 many other environmental problems. Soils provide critical ecosystem services, especially for sustaining ecosystems and growing food crops, but soil erosion and degradation are serious problems worldwide. Higher biodiversity usually increases ecosystem efficiency and productivity, stabilizes overall ecosystem functioning, and makes ecosystems more resistant to perturbations. Mobile linked animal species provide critical ecosystem functions and increase ecosystem resilience by connecting habitats and ecosystems through their movements. Their services include pollination, seed dispersal, nutrient deposition, pest control, and scavenging. Thousands of species that are the components of ecosystems harbor unique chemicals and pharmaceuticals that can save people's lives, but traditional knowledge of medicinal plants is disappearing and many potentially valuable species are threatened with extinction. Increasing habitat loss, climate change, settlement of wild areas, and wildlife consumption facilitate the transition of diseases of animals to humans, and other ecosystem alterations are increasing the prevalence of other diseases. Valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs helps integrate these services into public decision making and can ensure the continuity of ecosystems that provide the services. Biodiversity-ecosystem function research and biodiversity futures: early bird catches the worm or a day late and a dollar short? Martin Solan, Jasmin A. Godbold, Amy Symstad, Dan F. B. Flynn, and Daniel E. Bunker acprof:oso/ Articulating the appropriate interpretation of biodiversity-ecosystem function research is fundamental to providing a tenable solution to the biodiversity crisis, but the gradual dissemination of results and ideology through the literature is inefficient and frustrates timely application of practical solutions. This chapter summarizes the core biodiversityecosystem function (BEF) literature then tracks the sequential flow of information to other scientific disciplines and to end users tasked with managing the environment. It examines how effective the BEF community has been in communicating the science and asks whether the discipline runs the risk of being an independent, primarily academic field that does not directly contribute to environmental policy or impending global scale problems. Despite consensus that biodiversity enhances Page 2 of 7

3 ecosystem function, adoption of BEF principles by policymakers is lagging. If the benefits of our scientific products are to be realized, the information flow from science to policy needs to be more effectively managed and communicated. Conservation in human modified landscapes Lian Pin Koh and Toby A. Gardner acprof:oso/ Lian Pin Koh and Toby A. Gardner discuss the challenges of conserving biodiversity in degraded and modified landscapes with a focus on the tropical terrestrial biome in this chapter. Given that approximately one quarter of the world's threatened species live outside protected areas, and that the integrity of protected areas where they exist is often threatened, we need to integrate conservation efforts with other human activities. Partially modified landscapes are an important and valuable asset for biodiversity conservation and should not be overlooked by biologists and conservationists. Recent studies demonstrate there are important opportunities for conserving biodiversity within the dominant types of human land use, including logged forests, agroforestry systems, monoculture plantations, agricultural lands, urban areas, and regenerating land. It is the local people that ultimately decide the fate of their local environments, even if the decisions they make fall within a wider political, social, and economic context. Key to achieving success and developing sustainable management strategies is the ability to build participatory and multidisciplinary approaches to research and management that involve not only conservation biologists, but also agroecologists, agronomists, farmers, indigenous peoples, rural social movements, foresters, social scientists, and land managers. Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning John N. Griffin, Eoin J. O Gorman, Mark C. Emmerson, Stuart R. Jenkins, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Michel Loreau, and Amy Symstad acprof:oso/ Page 3 of 7

4 Concern that the rapid anthropogenic erosion of biodiversity may undermine the delivery of ecosystem services has prompted a synthesis of community and ecosystem ecology over the last decade. Biodiversityecosystem functioning (BEF) research is central to this emerging synthesis, asking how biodiversity is related to the magnitude and stability of ecosystem processes. Isolating species richness effects from species composition has been a chief goal of BEF research. This BEF perspective recognized that fluctuating abundances of component species may not produce instability at the community or ecosystem level because compensatory reactions among species dampen fluctuations of aggregate abundance. Within the BEF framework, experiments and theory explicitly relating to the effect of species richness on communitylevel aggregate properties (mainly biomass) have focused on variability through time in relation to background environmental variation (temporal stability) as well as on the impact (resistance) and recovery (resilience) of such properties to discrete, and often extreme, perturbations. This chapter reviews recent empirical studies examining the links between species richness and these three facets of stability. Conservation biology: past and present 1 Curt Meine acprof:oso/ In this chapter, Curt Meine introduces the discipline by tracing its history. He also highlights the inter disciplinary nature of conservation science. Conservation biology emerged in the mid 1980s as a new field focused on understanding, protecting, and perpetuating biological diversity at all scales and all levels of biological organization. Conservation biology has deep roots in the growth of biology over several centuries, but its emergence reflects more recent developments in an array of biological sciences (ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, etc.) and natural resource management fields (forestry, wildlife and fisheries management, etc.). Conservation biology was conceived as a missionoriented field based in the biological sciences, but with an explicit interdisciplinary approach that incorporated insights from the social sciences, humanities, and ethics. Since its founding, conservation biology has: (i) greatly elaborated its research agenda; (ii) built stronger connections with other fields and disciplines; (iii) extended its reach especially into aquatic and marine environments; (iv) developed its professional capacity for training, research, and field application; (v) Page 4 of 7

5 become an increasingly international field; and (vi) become increasingly active at the interface of conservation science and policy. Incorporating biodiversity in climate change mitigation initiatives Sandra Díaz, David A. Wardle, and Andy Hector acprof:oso/ Climate change mitigation initiatives based on biological sequestration of carbon have paid little attention to biodiversity, with important implications both for climate change mitigation and for ecosystem services that depend on biodiversity. Here the chapter reviews the theoretical and empirical evidence for forest biodiversity effects on carbon sequestration. This chapter suggests that protection of primary forests is the most effective option for maximizing carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems, and should be included in future international agreements. Because carbon sequestration is a long term goal, this chapter presents the case that avoidance of losses should be emphasized over short term uptake, and that maintenance of mixtures of dominant and subdominant species and genotypes are the safest option for carbon sequestration in plantations and agroforestry systems. Biodiversity conservation should be included in the development of policy for climate change mitigation initiatives based on carbon sequestration in forested systems, including those related to the Kyoto Protocol. Introduction: the ecological and social implications of changing biodiversity. An overview of a decade of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research Shahid Naeem, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau, and Charles Perrings acprof:oso/ Page 5 of 7

6 Conventional approaches to ecology often lack the necessary integration to make a compelling case for the critical importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning and human wellbeing. This linear approach does not prepare one for understanding and applying ecology in the context of the modern world. A different, rather unconventional approach is needed for understanding ecology and environmental biology, one that asks the question that is rarely asked What is the significance of biodiversity to human wellbeing? That is what this book asks. Managed ecosystems: biodiversity and ecosystem functions in landscapes modified by human use Louise Jackson, Todd Rosenstock, Matthew Thomas, Justin Wright, and Amy Symstad acprof:oso/ This chapter examines the effects of management and intensification processes on biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. It begins with a meta-analysis of studies conducted along landscape gradients, then reviews relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function within managed ecosystems. Pest control exemplifies the complexity of the functions of biodiversity in managed ecosystems (e.g., often correlating poorly with species richness, involving several trophic levels, and influenced by characteristics of the wider landscape). Finally, based on these analyses, this chapter describes an interdisciplinary context to link research on biodiversity and ecosystem function to end-users at different management scales that incorporates the influence of social and economic factors. Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem function: will an integrated approach improve results? Justin Wright, Amy Symstad, James M. Bullock, Katharina Engelhardt, Louise Jackson, and Emily Bernhardt acprof:oso/ Page 6 of 7

7 Ecological restorations often focus on restoring communities while ignoring ecosystem functioning, or on ecosystem functioning without regard to communities. This chapter argues that the biodiversityecosystem function (BEF) perspective provides an opportunity to integrate these views and potentially improve the success of restoration. First, the restoration of biodiversity may lead to desired levels of ecosystem properties and processes through "classical" BEF mechanisms such as complementarity or selection effects. Second, BEF theory suggests that biodiversity may enhance temporal stability of the provisioning of ecosystem services in restored ecosystems. Finally, in restored ecosystems with multiple management goals, biodiversity may enhance the provisioning of multiple services. Assessing the relative benefits of biodiversity for risk management and the provisioning of multiple services requires economic as well as ecological analyses. Scientists, managers and policy makers will need to ask relevant questions and collaborate in interpreting results if BEF theory's potential to impact restoration is to be realized. Page 7 of 7

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