Abstract: Governments have agreed to expand the global protected area network from 13% to 17% of the world's land surface by 2020 (Aichi target 11) and to prevent the further loss of known threatened species (Aichi target 12). These targets are interdependent, as protected areas can stem biodiversity loss when strategically located and effectively managed. However, the global protected area estate is currently biased toward locations that are cheap to protect and away from important areas for biodiversity. Here we use data on the distribution of protected areas and threatened terrestrial birds, mammals, and amphibians to assess current and possible future coverage of these species under the convention. We discover that 17% of the 4,118 threatened vertebrates are not found in a single protected area and that fully 85% are not adequately covered (i.e., to a level consistent with their likely persistence). Using systematic conservation planning, we show that expanding protected areas to reach 17% coverage by protecting the cheapest land, even if ecoregionally representative, would increase the number of threatened vertebrates covered by only 6%. However, the nonlinear relationship between the cost of acquiring land and species coverage means that fivefold more threatened vertebrates could be adequately covered for only 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest solution, if cost efficiency and threatened vertebrates are both incorporated into protected area decision making. These results are robust to known errors in the vertebrate range maps. The Convention on Biological Diversity targets may stimulate major expansion of the global protected area estate. If this expansion is to secure a future for imperiled species, new protected areas must be sited more strategically than is presently the case.
SFGate Sudden oak death drying up with drought SFGate "This is a little bit of a positive because it gives us an opportunity to see and attack the weakest link of the disease - that is, when the populations really, really shrink," said Matteo...
Deadly walnut tree fungus found in Indiana The Courier-Journal INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A deadly tree fungus that's been detected for the first time in Indiana poses a real threat to the black walnut trees that are the state's most valuable tree, the...
We combined microscopic and molecular methods to investigate fungal assemblages on alder leaf litter exposed in the benthic and hyporheic zones of five streams across a gradient of increasing acidification for 4 weeks. The results showed that acidification and elevated Al concentrations strongly depressed sporulating aquatic hyphomycetes diversity in both zones of streams, while fungal diversity assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) appeared unaffected. Clone library analyses revealed that fungal communities on leaves were dominated by members of Ascomycetes and to a lesser extent by Basidiomycetes and Chytridiomycetes. An important contribution of terrestrial fungi was observed in both zones of the most acidified stream and in the hyporheic zone of the reference circumneutral stream. The highest leaf breakdown rate was observed in the circumneutral stream and occurred in the presence of both the highest diversity of sporulating aquatic hyphomycetes and the highest contribution to clone libraries of sequences affiliated with aquatic hyphomycetes. Both methods underline the major role played by aquatic hyphomycetes in leaf decomposition process. Our findings also bring out new highlights on the identity of leaf-associated fungal communities and their responses to anthropogenic alteration of running water ecosystems.
Not Pacman - a bursting spore of the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus Rhizophagus irregularis - releasing oil droplets. Picture: Ruth Le Fevre (Photo: Not Pacman - a bursting spore of the arbuscular mycorrhiza fungus Rhizophagus irregularis -...
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