The effects of Pleistocene glaciations on the genetic characteristics of the most austral conifer in the world, Pilgerodendron uviferum, were analysed with specific reference to the hypothesis that the species persisted locally in ice-free areas in temperate South America.
Results indicated that Pilgerodendron populations are highly monomorphic, probably reflecting past population bottlenecks and reduced gene flow. Southernmost populations tend to be the least genetically variable and were therefore probably more affected by glacial activity than northern ones. Populations located outside ice limits seem to have been isolated during the glacial period. The presence of centres of genetic diversity, together with the lack of a significant correlation between genetic and geographical distances and the absence of geographical patterns of allelic frequencies at most analysed alleles, may indicate that Pilgerodendron did not advance southward after the last glaciation from a unique northern refugium, but spread from several surviving populations in ice-free areas in Patagonia instead.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The International Waterbird Census (I WC), coordinated by Wetlands International, provides a framework for monitoring non-breeding populations at a global scale. However, wader counts are not yet available from most countries for enough years to allow meaningful population trend analyses. Nevertheless there is considerable potential for trend analyses using IWC data in the future. Many other studies use different and uncoordinated methods. We still lack facilities for broad-scale analyses which would allow the reasons for observed changes in wader populations to be explored. A GIS referenced, decentralised, web-based database interface is proposed which would help explain these changes by linking wader m onitoring initiatives, and by providing integration with other environmental monitoring schemes.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus is classed as globally Vulnerable, based on the only available population estimate, made in 1977, of 2,000-2,800 pairs. Surveys for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpipers were carried out in summer 2000 on the Anadyr estuary coast, the Chukotka autonomous region, Russia. Although six new breeding sites were found, only 16-17 breeding males/pairs were recorded on the northern coast of the Anadyr estuary and five males/pairs on the southern coast and more southerly lagoons. These numbers were much lower than expected, and the species was not recorded in several apparently suitable areas.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Recent analyses confirm that urgent attempts to catalogue the distribution of biological diversity may be facilitated by focusing at the level of genera or families rather than species. However, questions remain over the application of higher-taxon surveys to identify networks of priority areas for conservation action. Is the close spatial match between species and higher-taxon richness at global and regional scales reiterated when sites are locally distributed? How much money is saved by the higher-taxon approach? And how does using genus or family information affect the efficiency with which spatial priorities for conservation are identified? We examined these issues using data on the diversity of woody plants in Sri Lankan forests.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
This study demonstrates the utility of carbon isotope discrimination in describing genetic adaptation to arid environments, although it is probably most useful in detecting differentiation when the strategy of the species under investigation is to increase water use efficiency, rather than drought-avoidance. The results suggest that populations on the eastern and western sides of the Andes should be treated as separate management units for the purposes of conserving the genetic resource of this species.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
The threatened Chilean conifer Podocarpus salignus D. Don is currently the focus of ex situ conservation eorts being undertaken by the Conifer Conservation Programme of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. To assess variation within in and ex situ populations of the species, leaf material collected from four wild populations was analysed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD).
RAPD was found to be an effective tool for assessing the genetic structure of P. salignus, for providing a guide to future germplasm-sampling strategies, and for hybrid identification. Implications for genetic conservation of the species and the role of ex situ approaches are discussed.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A new, systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness of ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation (EbA) has been carried out to review the effectiveness of EbA and highlight the knowledge gaps. This research was undertaken as a collaboration between BirdLife International, UNEP-WCMC, IIED and the University of Cambridge.
Ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation (EbA) integrate the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services into an overall strategy for helping people adapt to climate change. To date, however, insight into these approaches has often been based on anecdotal case studies of local people’s use of ecosystems. Although they are informative, they can provide rather limited insight in terms of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of EbA, especially compared with technical or structural adaptation measures. A new, systematic review of EbA evidence has been carried out to interrogate the scientific literature and review studies from around the world, from many different ecosystems and adopting a wide range of adaptation approaches utilising ecosystems. We conclude that EbA approaches are effective and deserve greater policy attention and political support to reach their full potential.Resource Type: Reports
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