Instructions for Authors
Conservation Biology welcomes submissions that address the science and practice of conserving Earth's biological diversity. Conservation Biology articles emphasize issues germane to any of Earth's ecosystems or geographic regions and apply diverse approaches to analyses and problem solving. Manuscripts relevant to conservation that transcend the particular ecosystem, species, or situation described are prioritized for publication.
Before you submit your manuscript read these instructions and the Style Guide for Authors.
Article Categories and Word Limits
Word count includes all text from Abstract through Literature Cited. It does not include table or figure legends or the body of tables. Manuscripts substantially exceeding the word limits specified below will not be sent for review. Revisions addressing reviewer comments should also substantially exceed word limits even if reviewers request additional information.
Contributed Paper (3000-6000 words): research papers on original theoretical, empirical, or synthetic research in the natural or social sciences.
Research Note (3000 words): similar to Contributed Paper, but results and inferences may be more focused or preliminary.
Review (7500): comprehensive reviews of topics generally well developed in the literature that provide a thorough synthesis of findings or illuminate trends and have relevance at both global and local levels.
Essay (6000 words): essays on novel issues in the natural or social sciences important to conservation science and practice; grounded in evidence from the literature, policy, or legal documents; typically relevant beyond a single case study; and that propose evidence-based solutions to problems. Well-reasoned and supported submissions that debate alternative perspectives, challenge current paradigms, or advance new conservation-science approaches are encouraged.
Conservation Practice and Policy (5000 words): papers on applications of conservation science to specific goals for management, policy, or education that report findings important to decision making, planning, and implementation of conservation and provide opportunities for learning. They can include discussions of setbacks, failures, and unintended consequences.
Conservation Methods (up to 6000 words): papers on a novel conservation-science method
Comment (2000 words): papers that respond to material previously published in Conservation Biology.
Diversity (2000 words): short opinion pieces on conservation concepts, methods, or applications or on current and immediate regional or global conservation problems.
Letter (1000 words): communications regarding topics of immediate interest to readers, including observations on controversial subjects or papers previously published in Conservation Biology.
Book Reviews are by invitation only. All books for possible review should be sent directly to Gabor Lövie (email@example.com).
Submit manuscripts online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/conbio. If you do not have adequate internet access for online submission via ScholarOne Manuscripts, please contact Frith Jarrad (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conservation Biology uses double-blind peer review. In the
- submitted manuscript,
- suporting information (online appendices), and
- file names
there should be no content, except for self-citations, through which authors or their institutions could be indentified. If data, for example, are being made available through a data-storage service, make sure you cannot be identified from these files. FigShare allows authors to remain anonymous.
***Submita separatemanuscript cover page with specified information (see "Cover Page" below). Do not include cover-page information anywhere in the manuscript itself.***
The cover page is not visible to reviewers.
You are required to provide the names of 6 potential reviewers. These reviewers must not have close professional or personal relationships with any of the authors. The identity of reviewers is kept confidential unless reviewers choose to waive confidentiality.
Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility
All authors are required to complete a 15-point checklist aimed at promoting study reproducibility and data transparency such that another researcher with relevant expertise could replicate the study. You may wish to review the Transparency, Openness, and Reproducibility Checklist before you start the submission process. It is available under the Instructions and Forms tab in ScholarOne.
Do not cite work or data that have not been published or are not available. Include such work or data as online Supporting Information and cite it as such in the text. If the data are available in a publically accessible database, cite that database. Include databases in Literature Cited.
Files to Upload
Your manuscript must be in Word format. Upload a separate cover page (see “Cover Page” below and “Manuscript Requirements” above). You may place figures at the end of the manuscript or go through the step in the submission process to upload figures separately. Place figure legends in two places: on a separate page after tables and on figures themselves. At submission, no particular file format for figures is required. Tables must be in the manuscript (not uploaded separately to ScholarOne), follow Literature Cited, and precede figure legends. Name each uploaded file based on its general content, and do not use author initials or names (e.g., Manuscript, AppendixS1). Use the figure number in names of figure files (e.g., Fig 1).
An ORCID identifier uniquely identifies you and links you with your professional activities. Entering your ORCID number upon submission is required. For more information, go to http://orcid.org/. If you are opposed to having an ORCID identifier, contact Frith Jarrad (email@example.com).
The Conservation Biology Style Guide for Authors contains detailed information on how to format a manuscript for Conservation Biology.
Language: English (We strongly recommend authors whose first language is not English ask a colleague who is a native English speaker to proofread the manuscript before submission.)
Spacing: double-space all text
Line numbering: number all lines (except in figures and tables)
Footnotes: do not use footnotes
Organization: Use introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD) format. Do not combine results and discussion sections.
Title: Do not use a hanging title (those with a colon or dash), a title that is a complete sentence, a headline-like title, an interrogative title, or a title that references colloquialisms or popular culture (see Style Guide for Authors for more information).
Article impact statement: In ≤140 characters (including spaces and punctuation), provide a statement that reveals the paper’s primary importance to conservation. See “Article Impact Statement” below.
Units of measure: metric only
Page numbering: number all pages
Spelling: U.S. rather than British
Submit your cover page as a separate document. It should NOT be part of the manuscript itself. The cover page must include the title of the paper; an article impact statement (see below); a running head (short title of 35 or fewer characters); a list of 5-8 keywords (do not repeat words in the title); word count (all text from the first word of the Abstract through the last word of the Literature Cited but not including table or figure legends or the body of tables); authors' complete mailing addresses (including street addresses and postal codes) at the time the work was conducted and present addresses if different; name and complete address (including email) of the person to whom correspondence should be sent; and text of your Acknowledgments section.
Article Impact Statement
In ≤140 characters (including spaces and punctuation) this statement should emphasize the paper’s practical or policy importance. The statement may be a report of the primary result or theme if the practical or policy importance of the result is obvious. It should not be a reiterated or lengthened title or describe what is presented (e.g., “A method to x is presented.”).
Include the abstract before the introduction as part of the main document. Above the abstract provide the title of the paper. Manuscripts in all categories except Comments, Diversity, and Letters must contain an abstract that does not exceed 300 words. The abstract should state concisely the aims, methods, principal results, and major inferences of the work (i.e., it should be a miniversion of the paper), and introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections should be easily identifiable . Do not include incomplete or uninformative descriptions (e.g., "A new method of analysis is described." or “We discuss how our approach promotes sustainable management of forest systems.”). Do not state conclusions that are not supported by evidence reported in the abstract. Do not provide a Spanish translation of the abstract.
Human and Animal Subjects
When reporting on studies that involve human participants or animal subjects, supply a statement in methods that specifies the ethical guidelines with which you complied. Include permit numbers, if applicable.
Use the following format for literature citations in the text: (Buckley & Buckley 2000b; Pacey 2004). Arrange strings of citations in chronological order (oldest first).
Do not cite work that has not been published as either unpublished or data not shown. A submitted manuscript is not published. Examples of citations and information on how to handle unpublished materials and how to cite proceedings and databases are provided in the Style Guide for Authors.
Tables and Figures
A reader should be able to interpret tables and figures without referring to the text and having read only the abstract . Include no more than 1 supporting element (i.e., table or figure) for every 4 pages of text (from the Abstract through Literature Cited). If a table or figure has only a few data points, incorporate the data into the text. Text boxes are not allowed.
Tables must be double-spaced, should not contain vertical or horizontal rules, must not duplicate material in the text or figures, and must be editable in Word. Table legends should be one sentence. Additional explanations should be placed in footnotes. Tables should not contain color, gray-scale shading, or other graphical elements.
Whether you upload figure files to ScholarOne or place them at the end of the manuscript file, place the figure’s legend below the figure and supply a separate figure-legend page in the manuscript. Double-space figure legends. Figures must be of sufficient quality and resolution to remain clear at 60% reduction. Before publication, you will be required to supply figures in tif, eps, or pdf format. Author portrayals of borders or other jurisdictional boundaries on maps in published articles do not imply support of those representations by the journal or the Society for Conservation Biology .
For guidance on best practices in graphic design, refer to the following link used with permission from Oryx - The International Journal of Conservation and Fauna & Flora International: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/graphics-for-conservation/index.
Online Supporting Information
Online appendices are allowed. They can be in any format. They should be named, cited, and described in text as specified in the Style Guide for Authors.These materials are not copyedited or proofread.
After provisional acceptance, your paper will be edited and sent back to you for a response. When you submit your response to editing, you may upload a translation of the manuscript as an online appendix (i.e., supporting information). The translation should match the version of the manuscript you submitted in response to editing (all track changes accepted). List the translation in the Supporting Information paragraph (see Style Guide for Authors).
If you have a figure or table in your manuscript that was published previously, after acceptance you must obtain permission from the copyright holder to reprint it and supply the notice of permission as an additional file in ScholarOne.
If the editor in chief determines the manuscript topic is appropriate for the journal and meets standards of content and presentation, then a regional editor examines the submission and decides to recommend rejection, nominate reviewers, or assign the manuscript to a handling editor with expertise in the manuscript’s topic. If the handling editor deems the manuscript is of sufficient quality and novelty, she or he will request reviews. Once reviews have been received, the handling editor or regional editor summarizes reviewer points, provides an assessment, and makes a recommendation (accept , revise, or reject) to the editor in chief. Revisions are usually sent for assessment to the regional or handling editor, who may then initiate another round of review.
An appeal of a publication decision must be made within 3 months of a decision. Address appeals directly to the editor in chief via the email link on the online submission webpage.
Accepted-Article Publication, Early View, and Issue Compilation
Unedited and unformatted accepted manuscripts are posted online in Accepted Articles shortly after a paper has been accepted. Manuscript editing and then the production process follow. When ready, the final typeset version supplants the Accepted Article, and the paper is published online in Early View and is later placed in an issue (online and hard copy). The official date of publication is the day the paper is posted to Accepted Articles.
When an article is posted to Accepted Articles (AA), it is accessible to the media and others. If a media release is to be prepared, inform the senior editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately after receiving the acceptance email, and AA posting will be postponed. When the release is ready, a posting date will be set by the production editor. The release can go out after midnight on the posting day. Your paper will receive the most attention if you publicize it at the AA stage, after which most media outlets will consider it old news.
Page and Color-Printing Charges
Conservation Biology is published on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology, a nonprofit organization. Payment of page charges helps the society support conservation science, management, policy, and education worldwide. Charges are US$150 per page for those with grant or institutional support for publication costs and $50 per page for those without support who are able to pay at this rate. Page charges will be waived for authors who affirm they do not have institutional support or other means of paying page charges. An author's ability to pay will not influence whether the manuscript is accepted for publication or any aspect of the review process. If a paper is to be open access, there are no page charges.
The fee for printing color figures, US$700 per page, can be waived only if open-access publication (see OnlineOpen below) is selected. We discourage the use of color because in some countries download speeds are slow and gray-scale photocopies of articles are common. Figures may be in color online and in gray-scale in print for no charge. However, reference to color cannot be made in the figure legend or in the text, and elements in the gray-scale version must be distinguishable.
If after acceptance a manuscript is changed substantially for any reason, it is the responsibility of the lead author to inform coauthors of these changes.
Currently, we do not use author-supplied photographs on the cover. However, you may supply photos to the senior editor for consideration by the social media editor for use on Twitter and Facebook in postings related to your paper. Supply a caption for each photo.
Policy on Duplicate Publication of Research Results
Submission of a manuscript to Conservation Biology implies it has not been published previously and is not being considered for publication elsewhere (see also, Preprint Policy below). At the time of submission, describe in the cover letter any data, figures, or text in the manuscript that have been published or that are in press, submitted, or soon to be submitted elsewhere. If any of the data in the manuscript have been included in other published or unpublished manuscripts, the legend of each table or figure reporting such data must cite those manuscripts. All authors are expected to conform to the Society for Conservation Biology's Code of Ethics, available under the Instructions and Forms tab in ScholarOne.
OnlineOpen (i.e., open access) is available to authors who wish to make their article available for free or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee of US$3000 to ensure the article is made available to nonsubscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library and is deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. The fee for OnlineOpen cannot be reduced or waived.
In addition to publication online via Wiley Online Library, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published pdf of their article on a website, institutional repository, or other free public server immediately on publication. More information on OnlineOpen is available at https://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/onlineopen_order.asp.
If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting her or him to log in to Author Services, where, via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS), this person will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected, the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs at CTA Terms and Conditions http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp.
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following: Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA), Creative Commons Attribution License OAA, Creative Commons Attribution Non - Commercial License OAA, or Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License OAA. To preview the terms and conditions of these open-access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services (http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp) and visit http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25db4c87/Copyright -- License.html.
If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK), you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC - BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit http://www.wiley.com/go/funderstatement.
Conservation Biology does not consider for publication articles that have been published in substantial part or in full in a scientific journal, book, or similar entity. Organizational working papers and manuscripts that appear on the author’s personal website or in an institutional repository, however, are not viewed as prior publication, and such articles can therefore be submitted. The journal will also consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized preprint archive (such as arXiv and PeerJ PrePrints), provided that upon acceptance of the article for publication the author is still able to grant the journal an exclusive license to publish the article or agrees to the terms of an OnlineOpen agreement and pays the associated fee.
It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been posted previously. If the manuscript is accepted for publication in Conservation Biology, authors are required to provide a link to the final manuscript alongside the original preprint version.
Monika Böhm | Ben Collen | Jonathan E.M. Baillie | Philip Bowles | Janice Chanson | Neil Cox | Geoffrey Hammerson | Michael Hoffmann | Suzanne R. Livingstone | Mala Ram | Anders G.J. Rhodin | Simon N. Stuart | Peter Paul van Dijk | Bruce E. Young | Leticia E. Afuang | Aram Aghasyan | Andrés García | César Aguilar | Rastko Ajtic | Ferdi Akarsu | Laura R.V. Alencar | Allen Allison | Natalia Ananjeva | Steve Anderson | Claes Andrén | Daniel Ariano-Sánchez | Juan Camilo Arredondo | Mark Auliya | Christopher C. Austin | Aziz Avci | Patrick J. Baker | André F. Barreto-Lima | César L. Barrio-Amorós | Dhruvayothi Basu | Michael F. Bates | Alexandre Batistella | Aaron Bauer | Daniel Bennett | Wolfgang Böhme | Don Broadley | Rafe Brown | Joseph Burgess | Ashok Captain | Santiago Carreira | Maria del Rosario Castañeda | Fernando Castro | Alessandro Catenazzi | José R. Cedeño-Vázquez | David G. Chapple | Marc Cheylan | Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia | Dan Cogalniceanu | Hal Cogger | Claudia Corti | Gabriel C. Costa | Patrick J. Couper | Tony Courtney | Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic | Pierre André Crochet | Brian Crother | Felix Cruz | Jennifer C. Daltry | R. J.Ranjit Daniels | Indraneil Das | Anslem de Silva | Arvin C. Diesmos | Lutz Dirksen | Tiffany M. Doan | C. Kenneth Dodd | J. Sean Doody | Michael E. Dorcas | Jose Duarte de Barros Filho | Vincent T. Egan | El Hassan El Mouden | Dirk Embert | Robert E. Espinoza | Alejandro Fallabrino | Xie Feng | Zhao Jun Feng | Lee Fitzgerald | Oscar Flores-Villela | Frederico G.R. França | Darrell Frost | Hector Gadsden | Tony Gamble | S. R. Ganesh | Miguel A. Garcia | Juan E. García-Pérez | Joey Gatus | Maren Gaulke | Philippe Geniez
Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world's reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Philip Francis Thomsen | Eske Willerslev
© 2015 The Authors. The continuous decline in Earth's biodiversity represents a major crisis and challenge for the 21st century, and there is international political agreement to slow down or halt this decline. The challenge is in large part impeded by the lack of knowledge on the state and distribution of biodiversity - especially since the majority of species on Earth are un-described by science. All conservation efforts to save biodiversity essentially depend on the monitoring of species and populations to obtain reliable distribution patterns and population size estimates. Such monitoring has traditionally relied on physical identification of species by visual surveys and counting of individuals. However, traditional monitoring techniques remain problematic due to difficulties associated with correct identification of cryptic species or juvenile life stages, a continuous decline in taxonomic expertise, non-standardized sampling, and the invasive nature of some survey techniques. Hence, there is urgent need for alternative and efficient techniques for large-scale biodiversity monitoring. Environmental DNA (eDNA) - defined here as: genetic material obtained directly from environmental samples (soil, sediment, water, etc.) without any obvious signs of biological source material - is an efficient, non-invasive and easy-to-standardize sampling approach. Coupled with sensitive, cost-efficient and ever-advancing DNA sequencing technology, it may be an appropriate candidate for the challenge of biodiversity monitoring. Environmental DNA has been obtained from ancient as well as modern samples and encompasses single species detection to analyses of ecosystems. The research on eDNA initiated in microbiology, recognizing that culture-based methods grossly misrepresent the microbial diversity in nature. Subsequently, as a method to assess the diversity of macro-organismal communities, eDNA was first analyzed in sediments, revealing DNA from extinct and extant animals and plants, but has since been obtained from various terrestrial and aquatic environmental samples. Results from eDNA approaches have provided valuable insights to the study of ancient environments and proven useful for monitoring contemporary biodiversity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In the future, we expect the eDNA-based approaches to move from single-marker analyses of species or communities to meta-genomic surveys of entire ecosystems to predict spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns. Such advances have applications for a range of biological, geological and environmental sciences. Here we review the achievements gained through analyses of eDNA from macro-organisms in a conservation context, and discuss its potential advantages and limitations for biodiversity monitoring.
Jonas Geldmann | Megan Barnes | Lauren Coad | Ian D. Craigie | Marc Hockings | Neil D. Burgess
Protected Areas (PAs) are a critical tool for maintaining habitat integrity and species diversity, and now cover more than 12.7% of the planet's land surface area. However, there is considerable debate on the extent to which PAs deliver conservation outcomes in terms of habitat and species protection. A systematic review approach is applied to investigate the evidence from peer reviewed and grey literature on the effectiveness of PAs focusing on two outcomes: (a) habitat cover and (b) species populations. We only include studies that causally link conservation inputs to outcomes against appropriate counterfactuals. From 2599 publications we found 76 studies from 51 papers that evaluated impacts on habitat cover, and 42 studies from 35 papers on species populations. Three conclusions emerged: first, there is good evidence that PAs have conserved forest habitat; second, evidence remains inconclusive that PAs have been effective at maintaining species populations, although more positive than negative results are reported in the literature; third, causal connections between management inputs and conservation outcomes in PAs are rarely evaluated in the literature. Overall, available evidence suggests that PAs deliver positive outcomes, but there remains a limited evidence base, and weak understanding of the conditions under which PAs succeed or fail to deliver conservation outcomes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Marco Pautasso | Gregor Aas | Valentin Queloz | Ottmar Holdenrieder
Common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is a keystone tree species throughout temperate Europe whose future existence is threatened by an emerging invasive fungal disease. Ash dieback, which first appeared in Poland in the 1990s, has rapidly spread to most eastern, central and northern European countries. The causal agent of the disease, the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (anamorph Chalara fraxinea), was recently described as a new species. Given that the disease lethally affects ash trees of all age classes, and that ash tree mortality levels are high, F. excelsior and the many organisms dependent on ash trees are under threat. Based on a literature survey, we provide an overview of the present knowledge on ash dieback, identify practical recommendations and point out research needs. The observation of relatively resistant individual ash trees (although at very low frequency) calls for a rapid germplasm collection effort to establish a breeding program for resistance or tolerance to the disease. Ash trees that appear to be tolerant to the pathogen should not be felled, unless they pose an unacceptable risk to people's security. Given that the pathogen does not form propagules on wood, and given the importance of deadwood for biodiversity conservation, dead and dying ash trees should be left in the forest. Landscape pathology and genetic tools can be used to reconstruct the dispersal pathways of H. pseudoalbidus and to identify environmental features associated with variation in disease severity, so as to better predict the further development of the epidemic. Observations on differences in susceptibility of various ash species are needed to locate the geographic origin of the pathogen and to identify Fraxinus species which might be used for resistance breeding or even replacement of F. excelsior. Conservation biologists, landscape managers, restoration ecologists, social scientists and tree geneticists need to engage with forest pathologists and the various stakeholders throughout the distributional range of F. excelsior so as to tackle this pressing conservation challenge. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Richard Frankham | Corey J.A. Bradshaw | Barry W. Brook
Conservation managers typically need to make prompt decisions based on limited information and resources. Consequently, generalisations have essential roles in guiding interventions. Here, we (i) critique information on some widely accepted generalisations and variables affecting them, (ii) assess how adequately genetic factors are currently incorporated into population viability analysis (PVA) models used to estimate minimum viable population sizes, and (iii) relate the above to population size thresholds of the IUCN Red List criteria for threatened species that were derived from genetic considerations. Evidence accumulated since 1980 shows that genetically effective population size (N e ). = 50 is inadequate for preventing inbreeding depression over five generations in the wild, with N e ≥. 100 being required to limit loss in total fitness to ≤10%. Further, even N e = 500 is too low for retaining evolutionary potential for fitness in perpetuity; a better approximation is N e ≥. 1000. Extrapolation from census population size (N) to N e depends on knowing the ratio of N e /. N, yet this information is unavailable for most wild populations. Ratio averages (~0.1-0.2) from meta-analyses are sufficient, provided adjustments are made for dissimilar life histories. Most PVA-based risk assessments ignore or inadequately model genetic factors. PVA should routinely include realistic inbreeding depression, and genetic impacts on evolutionary potential should be incorporated where appropriate. Genetic generalisations used in conservation, the treatment of genetics in PVAs, and sections of the IUCN Red List criteria derived from genetic considerations, all require revision to be more effective conservation tools. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Ayesha I T Tulloch | Hugh P. Possingham | Liana N. Joseph | Judit Szabo | Tara G. Martin
Citizen science is on the rise. Aided by the internet, the popularity and scope of citizen science appears almost limitless. For citizens the motivation is to contribute to "real" science, public information and conservation. For scientists, citizen science offers a way to collect information that would otherwise not be affordable. The longest running and largest of these citizen science programs are broad-scale bird monitoring projects. There are two basic types of protocols possible: (a) cross-sectional schemes such as Atlases - collections of surveys of many species contributed by volunteers over a set period of time, and (b) longitudinal schemes such as Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) - on-going stratified monitoring of sites that require more coordination. We review recent applications of these citizen science programs to determine their influence in the scientific literature. We use return-on-investment thinking to identify the minimum investment needed for different citizen science programs, and the point at which investing more in citizen science programs has diminishing benefits. Atlas and BBS datasets are used to achieve different objectives, with more knowledge-focused applications for Atlases compared with more management applications for BBS. Estimates of volunteer investment in these datasets show that compared to cross-sectional schemes, longitudinal schemes are more cost-effective, with increased BBS investment correlated with more applications, which have higher impact in the scientific literature, as measured by citation rates. This is most likely because BBS focus on measuring change, allowing the impact of management and policy to be quantified. To ensure both types of data are used to their full potential we recommend the following: elements of BBS protocols (fixed sites, long-term monitoring) are incorporated into Atlases; regional coordinators are in place to maintain data quality; communication between researchers and the organisations coordinating volunteer monitoring is enhanced, with monitoring targeted to meet specific needs and objectives; application of data to under-explored objectives is encouraged, and data are made freely and easily accessible. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Martin J. Westgate | Gene E. Likens | David B. Lindenmayer
Adaptive Management (AM) is widely considered to be the best available approach for managing biological systems in the presence of uncertainty. But AM has arguably only rarely succeeded in improving biodiversity outcomes. There is therefore an urgent need for reflection regarding how practitioners might overcome key problems hindering greater implementation of AM. In this paper, we present the first structured review of the AM literature that relates to biodiversity and ecosystem management, with the aim of quantifying how rare AM projects actually are. We also investigated whether AM practitioners in terrestrial and aquatic systems described the same problems; the degree of consistency in how the term 'adaptive management' was applied; the extent to which AM projects were sustained over time; and whether articles describing AM projects were more highly cited than comparable non-AM articles. We found that despite the large number of articles identified through the ISI web of knowledge (n= 1336), only 61 articles ( < 5%) explicitly claimed to enact AM. These 61 articles cumulatively described 54 separate projects, but only 13 projects were supported by published monitoring data. The extent to which these 13 projects applied key aspects of the AM philosophy - such as referring to an underlying conceptual model, enacting ongoing monitoring, and comparing alternative management actions - varied enormously. Further, most AM projects were of short duration; terrestrial studies discussed biodiversity conservation significantly more frequently than aquatic studies; and empirical studies were no more highly cited than qualitative articles. Our review highlights that excessive use of the term 'adaptive management' is rife in the peer-reviewed literature. However, a small but increasing number of projects have been able to effectively apply AM to complex problems. We suggest that attempts to apply AM may be improved by: (1) Better collaboration between scientists and representatives from resource-extracting industries. (2) Better communication of the risks of not doing AM. (3) Ensuring AM projects " pass the test of management relevance" © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Brian L. Sullivan | Jocelyn L. Aycrigg | Jessie H. Barry | Rick E. Bonney | Nicholas Bruns | Caren B. Cooper | Theo Damoulas | André A. Dhondt | Tom Dietterich | Andrew Farnsworth | Daniel Fink | John W. Fitzpatrick | Thomas Fredericks | Jeff Gerbracht | Carla Gomes | Wesley M. Hochachka | Marshall J. Iliff | Carl Lagoze | Frank A. La Sorte | Matthew Merrifield | Will Morris | Tina B. Phillips | Mark Reynolds | Amanda D. Rodewald | Kenneth V. Rosenberg | Nancy M. Trautmann | Andrea Wiggins | David W. Winkler | Weng Keen Wong | Christopher L. Wood | Jun Yu | Steve Kelling
Citizen-science projects engage volunteers to gather or process data to address scientific questions. But citizen-science projects vary in their ability to contribute usefully for science, conservation, or public policy. eBird has evolved from a basic citizen-science project into a collective enterprise, taking a novel approach to citizen science by developing cooperative partnerships among experts in a wide range of fields: population and distributions, conservation biologists, quantitative ecologists, statisticians, computer scientists, GIS and informatics specialists, application developers, and data administrators. The goal is to increase data quantity through participant recruitment and engagement, but also to quantify and control for data quality issues such as observer variability, imperfect detection of species, and both spatial and temporal bias in data collection. Advances at the interface among ecology, statistics, and computer science allow us to create new species distribution models that provide accurate estimates across broad spatial and temporal scales with extremely detailed resolution. eBird data are openly available and used by a broad spectrum of students, teachers, scientists, NGOs, government agencies, land managers, and policy makers. Feedback from this broad data use community helps identify development priorities. As a result, eBird has become a major source of biodiversity data, increasing our knowledge of the dynamics of species distributions, and having a direct impact on the conservation of birds and their habitats. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Philip S. Hammond | Kelly Macleod | Per Berggren | David L. Borchers | Louise Burt | Ana Cañadas | Geneviève Desportes | Greg P. Donovan | Anita Gilles | Douglas Gillespie | Jonathan Gordon | Lex Hiby | Iwona Kuklik | Russell Leaper | Kristina Lehnert | Mardik Leopold | Phil Lovell | Nils Øien | Charles G.M. Paxton | Vincent Ridoux | Emer Rogan | Filipa Samarra | Meike Scheidat | Marina Sequeira | Ursula Siebert | Henrik Skov | René Swift | Mark L. Tasker | Jonas Teilmann | Olivier Van Canneyt | José Antonio Vázquez
The European Union (EU) Habitats Directive requires Member States to monitor and maintain at favourable conservation status those species identified to be in need of protection, including all cetaceans. In July 2005 we surveyed the entire EU Atlantic continental shelf to generate robust estimates of abundance for harbour porpoise and other cetacean species. The survey used line transect sampling methods and purpose built data collection equipment designed to minimise bias in estimates of abundance. Shipboard transects covered 19,725km in sea conditions ≤Beaufort 4 in an area of 1,005,743km 2 . Aerial transects covered 15,802km in good/moderate conditions (≤Beaufort 3) in an area of 364,371km 2 . Thirteen cetacean species were recorded; abundance was estimated for harbour porpoise (375,358; CV=0.197), bottlenose dolphin (16,485; CV=0.422), white-beaked dolphin (16,536; CV=0.303), short-beaked common dolphin (56,221; CV=0.234) and minke whale (18,958; CV=0.347). Abundance in 2005 was similar to that estimated in July 1994 for harbour porpoise, white-beaked dolphin and minke whale in a comparable area. However, model-based density surfaces showed a marked difference in harbour porpoise distribution between 1994 and 2005. Our results allow EU Member States to discharge their responsibilities under the Habitats Directive and inform other international organisations concerning the assessment of conservation status of cetaceans and the impact of bycatch at a large spatial scale. The lack of evidence for a change in harbour porpoise abundance in EU waters as a whole does not exclude the possibility of an impact of bycatch in some areas. Monitoring bycatch and estimation of abundance continue to be essential. © 2013 The Authors.
E. J. Theobald | A. K. Ettinger | H. K. Burgess | L. B. DeBey | N. R. Schmidt | H. E. Froehlich | C. Wagner | J. HilleRisLambers | J. Tewksbury | M. A. Harsch | J. K. Parrish
© 2014 The Authors. The collective impact of humans on biodiversity rivals mass extinction events defining Earth's history, but does our large population also present opportunities to document and contend with this crisis? We provide the first quantitative review of biodiversity-related citizen science to determine whether data collected by these projects can be, and are currently being, effectively used in biodiversity research. We find strong evidence of the potential of citizen science: within projects we sampled (. n=. 388), ~1.3. million volunteers participate, contributing up to 2.5. billion in-kind annually. These projects exceed most federally-funded studies in spatial and temporal extent, and collectively they sample a breadth of taxonomic diversity. However, only 12% of the 388 projects surveyed obviously provide data to peer-reviewed scientific articles, despite the fact that a third of these projects have verifiable, standardized data that are accessible online. Factors influencing publication included project spatial scale and longevity and having publically availa ble data, as well as one measure of scientific rigor (taxonomic identification training). Because of the low rate at which citizen science data reach publication, the large and growing citizen science movement is likely only realizing a small portion of its potential impact on the scientific research community. Strengthening connections between professional and non-professional participants in the scientific process will enable this large data resource to be better harnessed to understand and address global change impacts on biodiversity.
Joelene Hughes | David W. Macdonald
Negative impacts from the presence of domestic animals pose particular issues for biodiversity conservation as they are intimately tied to the economic, social and political values of local people, requiring interdisciplinary cooperation for successful outcomes. Despite domestic dogs being widespread there is little information on the scale and scope of any conservation problems they may cause. Dog management is already carried out by human health and welfare groups in order to improve welfare and reduce disease spread, primarily rabies. By reviewing information about interactions between dogs and wildlife, this paper aims to provide a clear summary of current knowledge and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration between conservation biologists and other experts.Data from dog population and human population studies indicate that the global domestic dog population abundance is over 700 million. Studies on interactions between free-roaming dogs and wildlife were gathered from searche s of seven online databases and other sources. In total, 69 peer-reviewed studies were found. The wildlife taxon mainly studied was mammals (78%) and the main interaction recorded was predation by domestic dogs, followed by disease transmission, wildlife disturbance, hybridization and predation of dogs by wild carnivores. Conservation issues with domestic dogs were recorded from around the world, both on islands and continents. Suggestions of solutions were limited, or not offered, beyond extermination which, given the close relationship between local people and dogs, may not often be appropriate. We propose some steps that will aid cooperation between conservationists and other sectors and enhance the effectiveness of conservation activities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Isabelle M. Côté | Stephanie J. Green | Mark A. Hixon
The invasion of western Atlantic marine habitats by two predatory Indo-Pacific lionfish, Pterois volitans and P. miles, has recently unfolded at an unprecedented rate, with ecological consequences anticipated to be largely negative. We take stock of recently accumulated knowledge about lionfish ecology and behaviour and examine how this information is contributing to our general understanding of the patterns and processes underpinning marine predator invasions, and to the specific issue of lionfish management. Lionfish were first reported off Florida in 1985. Since their establishment in The Bahamas in 2004, they have colonised 7.3 million km 2 of the western Atlantic and Caribbean region, and populations have grown exponentially at many locations. These dramatic increases potentially result from a combination of life-history characteristics of lionfish, including early maturation, early reproduction, anti-predatory defenses, unique predatory behaviour, and ecological versatility, as well as features of the recipient communities, including prey naïveté, weak competitors, and native predators that are overfished and naïve to lionfish. Lionfish have reduced the abundance of small native reef fishes by up to 95% at some invaded sites. Population models predict that culling can reduce lionfish abundance substantially, but removal rates must be high. Robust empirical estimates of the cost-effectiveness and effects of removal strategies are urgently needed because lionfish management will require a long-term, labour-intensive effort that may be possible only at local scales. The ultimate causes of the invasion were inadequate trade legislation and poor public awareness of the effects of exotic species on marine ecosystems. The lionfish invasion highlights the need for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to marine invaders. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Katherine M. Strickler | Alexander K. Fremier | Caren S. Goldberg
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Environmental DNA (eDNA) degradation is a primary mechanism limiting the detection of rare species using eDNA techniques. To better understand the environmental drivers of eDNA degradation, we conducted a laboratory experiment to quantify degradation rates. We held bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) tadpoles in microcosms, then removed the tadpoles and assigned the microcosms to three levels each of temperature, ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation, and pH in a full factorial design. We collected water samples from each microcosm at six time steps (0 to 58. days). In all microcosms, most degradation occurred in the first three to 10. days of the experiment, but eDNA remained detectable after 58. days in some treatments. Degradation rates were lowest under cold temperatures (5. °C), low UV-B levels, and alkaline conditions. Higher degradation rates were associated with factors that contribute to favorable environments for microbial growth (higher temperatures, neutral pH, moderately high UV-B), indicating that the effects of these factors may be biologically mediated. The results of this experiment indicate that aquatic habitats that are colder, more protected from solar radiation, and more alkaline are likely to hold detectable amounts of eDNA longer than those that are warmer, sunnier, and neutral or acidic. These results can be used to facilitate better characterization of environmental conditions that reduce eDNA persistence, improved design of temporal sampling intervals and inference, and more robust detection of aquatic species with eDNA methods.
Holly Vincent | John Wiersema | Shelagh Kell | Hannah Fielder | Samantha Dobbie | Nora P. Castañeda-Álvarez | Luigi Guarino | Ruth Eastwood | Blanca Lén | Nigel Maxted
The potentially devastating impacts of climate change on biodiversity and food security, together with the growing world population, means taking action to conserve crop wild relative (CWR) diversity is no longer an option-it is an urgent priority. CWR are species closely related to crops, including their progenitors, which have potential to contribute traits for crop improvement. However, their utilisation is hampered by a lack of systematic conservation which in turn is due to a lack of clarity over their identity. We used gene pool and taxon group concepts to estimate CWR relatedness for 173 priority crops to create the Harlan and de Wet inventory of globally important CWR taxa. Further taxa more remotely related to crops were added if they have historically been found to have useful traits for crop improvement. The inventory contains 1667 taxa, divided between 37 families, 108 genera, 1392 species and 299 sub-specific taxa. The region with the highest number of priority CWR is western Asia with 262 taxa, followed by China with 222 and southeastern Europe with 181. Within the primary gene pool, 242 taxa were found to be under-represented in ex situ collections and the countries identified as the highest priority for further germplasm collection are China, Mexico and Brazil. The inventory database is web-enabled (http://www.cwrdiversity.org/checklist/) and can be used to facilitate in situ and ex situ conservation planning at global, regional and national levels. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Rachel J. Standish | Richard J. Hobbs | Margaret M. Mayfield | Brandon T. Bestelmeyer | Katherine N. Suding | Loretta L. Battaglia | Valerie Eviner | Christine V. Hawkes | Vicky M. Temperton | Viki A. Cramer | James A. Harris | Jennifer L. Funk | Peter A. Thomas
Increasingly, the success of management interventions aimed at biodiversity conservation are viewed as being dependent on the 'resilience' of the system. Although the term 'resilience' is increasingly used by policy makers and environmental managers, the concept of 'resilience' remains vague, varied and difficult to quantify. Here we clarify what this concept means from an ecological perspective, and how it can be measured and applied to ecosystem management. We argue that thresholds of disturbance are central to measuring resilience. Thresholds are important because they offer a means to quantify how much disturbance an ecosystem can absorb before switching to another state, and so indicate whether intervention might be necessary to promote the recovery of the pre-disturbance state. We distinguish between helpful resilience, where resilience helps recovery, and unhelpful resilience where it does not, signalling the presence of a threshold and the need for intervention. Data to determine thresholds are not always available and so we consider the potential for indices of functional diversity to act as proxy measures of resilience. We also consider the contributions of connectivity and scale to resilience and how to incorporate these factors into management. We argue that linking thresholds to functional diversity indices may improve our ability to predict the resilience of ecosystems to future, potentially novel, disturbances according to their spatial and temporal scales of influence. Throughout, we provide guidance for the application of the resilience concept to ecosystem management. In doing so, we confirm its usefulness for improving biodiversity conservation in our rapidly changing world. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Christopher P. Barber | Mark A. Cochrane | Carlos M. Souza | William F. Laurance
Roads have a major impact on Amazon deforestation. However, the effects of the rapidly growing network of illegal or unofficial roads in the Amazon are usually not considered. We assessed relationships between pa st deforestation and existing networks of highways, navigable rivers, and all other roads, including more than 190,000km of unofficial roads. We found that deforestation was much higher near roads and rivers than elsewhere in the Amazon; nearly 95% of all deforestation occurred within 5.5km of roads or 1km of rivers. Protected areas near roads and rivers had much lower deforestation (10.9%) than did unprotected areas near roads and rivers (43.6%). If one assumes that existing protected areas halt deforestation, then we estimate that 39,462km 2 of expected forest clearing would have been avoided. However, if one assumes that protected areas merely displace deforestation to other locations, then we estimate that 34,501km 2 of expected clearing would have been displaced elsewhere. We conclude that proximity to transportation networks, particularly the rapidly growing unofficial road network, is a major proximate driver of deforestation in Amazonia and that protected areas are having a strong mitigating effect on that risk. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.