Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
The forests of eastern Tanzania are a globally important biodiversity hotspot. In this study 361 eastern Tanzanian restricted range forest tree taxa were assessed. Of these taxa, 223 occurred in the Eastern Arc, 150 in Coastal forests, 17 in Northern forests and 21 in the Lake Nyasa forests. The majority of the taxa had restricted elevational ranges with 76.3 occurring in no more than two 200 m elevational bands out of a total potential elevation range of 3000 m. The majority of the taxa occupied a small area in the eastern Tanzanian forests, with 201 taxa being only found at a few sites. In determining priority areas for conservation, selection of taxon definitions can have important effects. For example, tree size varies with elevation, so if only large trees are used then site selection will be biased towards particular areas.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Tropical trees in the genus Aquilaria Lam. are the principal source of gaharu, one of the most valuable forest products traded internationally. Although these species are the focus of increasing conservation concern, information on their status and distribution is lacking. Information from herbarium accessions, a national forest inventory (NFI), field surveys and gaharu traders was used to assess the distribution of Aquilaria species in Indonesia, indicating population concentrations in Sumatra and eastern Kalimantan.
Given current deforestation rates, these data suggest that all Aquilaria species in Indonesia classify as Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List criteria.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Fagus grandifolia var. mexicana (Mexican beech) is limited to about 10 populations (2-35 ha) in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico. The objectives were to assess the current status and distribution of beech by surveying five sites. Species richness varied between three to 27 tree species in the canopy, and from nine to 29 species in the understorey. Basal area of trees greater than or equal to 5 cm dbh varied between 27.87 and 70.98 m2 ha-1, and density from 370 to 1290 individual ha-1. Beech represented 22-99.6 of total basal area, and 6.8-83.3 of total density. Beech dominance varied from monodominant to codominance with Carpinus caroliniana, Quercus spp., Liquidambar styraciflua, Magnolia schiedeana, and Podocarpus spp. Beech total population size ranged from 180 to 6300 trees with a total of less than 1300 individuals in four sites. Anthropogenic disturbance remains a major threat to these forests. It is uncertain whether Mexican beech will be able to survive without conservation efforts.Resource Type: Journal Papers
National Parks and other protected areas not only provide a safe haven for biodiversity, they provide benefits to local communities and preserve some of the most beautiful places on our planet. ‘Coverage of protected areas’ is also a specific indicator in the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Obtaining the data necessary to monitor trends in protected areas requires a massive effort by national authorities to compile, analyse and then distribute this data to the centralised depository of the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). With a living and growing system of protected areas that now exceed 100,000 sites covering 19 million square kilometres, you can imagine that this is no small task!
Marine conservation lags behind terrestrial in the establishment of protected areas. This was recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity, whose members, in 2004, agreed to establish “comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative” systems of marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2012. Halfway toward this target date, we look at the coverage of the world’s 5045 MPAs from a biogeographic perspective.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Several populations of Fitzroya cupressoides (Mol.) Johnst. (Cupressaceae, common name 'alerce'), a threatened, long-lived conifer endemic to southern Chile and parts of Argentina, have recently been found in Chile's Central Depression, where the species was thought to have been extirpated. The objective of this study was to determine, on eight sites in the Depression, Fitzroya's regeneration behavior in relation to disturbance, its substrate and cover requirements for establishment, and whether regeneration is by seed or vegetative means.
Despite substantial environmental differences between the Central Depression and the portions of the Coastal and Andean Cordilleras where Fitzroya is found, populations in all three regions show striking similarities in their regeneration and stand dynamics. Fitzroya's longevity and at times abundant regeneration provide the biological basis for its persistence in Chile's Central Depression.Resource Type: Journal Papers
In order to build on the momentum created by the 2010 target of the Convention on Biological Diversity, we propose a shift away from a large set of static targets towards a smaller number of specific targets. Specifically, we present three categories of targets (red, green and blue) with examples of each. These relate respectively to (1) those biodiversity outcomes that must be avoided to avert situations that are deleterious for people, (2) the highly valued biodiversity conservation priorities, and (3) an improved scientific understanding necessary for adaptive management now and into the future.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Swietenia macrophylla King (Meliaceae: Swietenioideae) provides one of the premier timbers of the world. The mahogany shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta Moore (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is an economically important pest of S. macrophylla throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific. No viable method of controlling this pest is known. Previous observations have suggested that the presence of overhead shade may reduce attack by H. robusta, but this has not been investigated experimentally. This research was therefore designed to assess the influence of light availability on shoot-borer attack on S. macrophylla, by establishing seedlings under three different artificial shade regimes, then using these seedlings to test oviposition preference of adult moths, neonate larval survival and growth and development of shoot borer larvae.
The results indicate that shading of mahogany seedlings may reduce the incidence of shoot borer attack, by influencing both oviposition and larval development. The establishment of mahogany under suitable shade regimes may therefore provide a basis for controlling shoot borer attack using silvicultural approaches.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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