ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0311.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: biodiversity education; knowledge; perspective; biodiversity conservation; biodiversity protection
Online: 18 November 2021 (17:20:15 CET)
Rich biodiversity is one of the Philippines’ greatest assets. Unfortunately, there is a continuous decline in the diversity of flora and fauna across the world. This calls for the need to educate people, especially younger generations, to value and protect biodiversity and natural resources. The study aimed to assess the students’ extent of knowledge and identify their perspectives towards biodiversity and its protection and conservation. A total of 268 randomly selected students at Aurora State College of Technology Zabali Campus were involved in the study. Survey questionnaires were used to obtain data and information which were subjected to statistical tests. The students had a moderate knowledge level on biodiversity with a mean score of 6.65 out of 10 items (SD = 1.50). Their perspective on biodiversity was leaning toward its protection and conservation, with a mean score of 7.2 out of 10 items (SD = 1.29). Factors affecting the students’ knowledge were gender (p = .003) and academic department (p = 0.003). Females and those associated with the Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences and Department of Industrial technology were found to have more knowledge than the others. Males, on the other hand, were found to have a more positive perspective towards biodiversity. Knowledge and perspective had a weak correlation with r = 0.39. Students were not well-aware, but were in support of the Philippines’ biodiversity-related laws, which could help shape their mindset and actions towards biodiversity conservation and protection. As an implication, the college administration must revisit the curricula of all degree programs and ensure that students from each degree program are environmentally educated, emphasizing biodiversity conservation.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: biodiversity; agriculture
Online: 19 January 2021 (09:01:26 CET)
The destruction of natural habitat for cropland and pastures represents a major threat to global biodiversity. Despite widespread societal concern about biodiversity loss associated with food production, consumers access to quantitative estimates of the impact of crop production on the world’s species has been very limited compared to assessments of other environmental variables such as greenhouse gas emissions or water use. Here, we present a consistent dataset of the biodiversity footprints of pastures and 175 individual crops at country level. The data were generated by combining maps of the global distribution of agricultural areas in the year 2000 with spatially explicit estimates of the biodiversity loss associated with the conversion of natural habitat to farmland. Estimates were derived for three common alternative measures of biodiversity – species richness, threatened species richness, and range rarity – of the world’s mammals, birds, and amphibians. Our dataset provides important quantitative information for food consumers and policy makers, allowing them to take evidence-based decisions to reduce the biodiversity footprint of global food production.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0124.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Threatened; Conservation; Biodiversity
Online: 3 February 2021 (16:07:19 CET)
Bhutan lies to the East of Himalaya and it hosts around 11,248 species in all taxa. Bhutan’s lush and green forest covers 71 percent of land which comes under the five National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 Strict Nature Reserve, Community Forests and biological corridors connecting different protected areas. More than half (51.44 percent) is protected by law and activities are restricted under certain circumstances. It is home to Takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei), White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis), Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens), Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) that are globally threatened. Bhutan contributed around 23 new species between 2017 and 2020 which were new to science, and Bhutan’s biodiversity holds immense opportunities for researchers and environmental scientists as its biodiversity is in early stage of discovery. To date, Bhutan records 1 species as Extinct (EX), 1 species as Extinct in the Wild (EW) and 134 species as Vulnerable (VU), Endangered (EN) and Critically Endangered (CR) under International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This paper aims to report a checklist of globally threatened species listed in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from Bhutan. The paper also lists down the new species that were discovered in Bhutan since 2017. More researchers are needed to discover new species from Bhutan’s rich and lush forest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0066.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Biodiversity; floristically mega-diverse; ethnobotanical knowledge; biodiversity assessments; taxonomic activities; comprehensive assessment
Online: 6 June 2022 (08:03:58 CEST)
Although South Africa is well known for its incredible biodiversity, targeted efforts are still re-quired to accelerate the discovery and description of the still-unknown species in this floristically mega-diverse country. In addition, new species discovery is a new opportunity for the devel-opment of ethnobotanical knowledge. In the present study, we collected data on current knowledge of plant richness in the country and expert taxonomists’ opinions and used statistical modelling technique to predict what might still be missing in South Africa’s flora. According to experts’ opinions and our modelling, we might be missing 1400-1575 plant species in the country. We predicted that we might take 40-45 years to identify and describe these species and that be-tween 64 and 315 taxonomists will be required. The pool of taxonomists who took part in this study have spent a total of R 680 670 000 (US $40 039 411) to describe 419 species. This implies that, in theory, R 1 624 510.74 (US $95 559) was spent, on average, to describe 1 species. At this rate, R 2 558 604 415.00 (US $150 506 142) would be required to describe the 1575 (modelling) or R 2 274 315 036.00 (US $133 783 237) for the 1400 remaining species (expert opinion) in the current context where both full- and part-time taxonomists are committed to biodiversity assessment in the country. It is important to highlight that this estimate does not correspond to what is required specifically for only species description but does integrate all connected activities, e.g., running cost, bursary, salaries, grants, etc. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that these estimates do not account for the possibility of taxonomic revision which, on its own, needs to be funded, nor do they account for molecular laboratory requirement. However, if we consider that 15% of the predicted funds are spent solely on taxonomic activities, this means that we would need ~R243 673 (US$ 14 334) on 1 species. Overall, our study provides an important figure that can inform policy development including funding and recruitment strategies of taxonomists to fuel efforts towards a comprehensive assessment of the unique South Africa’s biodiversity. The implication of new species discovery is that it opens windows for traditional knowledge development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1858.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; biodiversity hotspot; correlation analysis; distribution maps; Shannon Weiner index; Simpson’s Evenness index
Online: 30 October 2023 (10:25:21 CET)
Sierra Madre Mountain Range (SMMR) is the backbone of Luzon Islands that contains high concentration of highly important ecological resources distributed among the 68 protected areas therewith. The present study aimed to assess the tree species composition and diversity in a secondary forest within the SMMR. A 2.25-km transect with 10 900-m2 was established to record tree species with a diameter at breast height of at least 10 cm. The findings revealed 148 individuals of trees from 38 morphospecies, 28 genera, and 20 families. Importance values unveiled the Aurora endemic Macaranga stonei Whitmore as the most important species in terms of the relative values of its abundance, frequency, and dominance. The area was also found to be home for 33 natives, 12 endemics, five IUCN threatened species, and nine Philippine threatened trees. Furthermore, the study site was also found to have a considerably high diversity with Shannon Weiner Index value of 3.269 and a relatively even distribution of individuals among species supported by the Simpson’s Evenness index value of 0.9453. Significant correlational relationships were also found among species richness, Shannon Weinder index, and Simpson’s Evenness index with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.881 to .934 all significant at p < .001. Lastly, the study was able to produce a distribution map necessary in implementing targeted conservation strategies. These findings provided valuable implications for future research and implementation of targeted and participatory biodiversity conservation and protection strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0226.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Biodiversity loss; driving forces; Global Biodiversity Framework; hemeroby; Land Use Intensity index LUI
Online: 23 March 2023 (13:05:35 CET)
Biodiversity loss has been identified as one of the environmental impacts where humankind has been tres-passing planetary boundaries most significantly. Going beyond the pressures causing damages (calling them ‘direct drivers’) and analysing their underlying driving forces, IPBES, the Intergovernmental Sci-ence-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, also identified a series of indirect drivers. The Montreal-Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework GBF including its suggested monitoring approach is intended to and claims to be a policy response to such analyses. However, to assess the human impact on ecosystems as a basis for planning conservation and restoration, as foreseen in the GBF, monitoring ecosystem typologies (in the GBF with reference to the UN statistical standard SEEA ES, which in turn refers to the IUCN ecosystem classification) is not enough. It needs to be complemented with data on the severity of human impacts, and on the history of places, i.e. how and when the current ecosystem status was brought about. In this conceptual paper we suggest LUI, a deliberately simple ordinal scale index for land use intensity changes, to address these two gaps. It is based on the hemeroby concept, measuring the human impact as deviation from naturalness. This makes it an information collection and presentation tool for those working in landscape planning and management. LUI’s simple and intuitively understandable structure makes it suitable for citizens’ science applications, and thus for participative monitoring when extensive statistical data gathering is not feasible, and past data are not available. Of course is can also be used as a simple too for communicating when detailed statistical data series are available. While the aggregate index is expected to communicate well, its components are more relevant to motivate and help policy makers to prioritise their decisions according to the severity of recent anthropogenic ecosystem disturabances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1659.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: benthos; biodiversity; gastrotrichs; meiofauna; taxonomy
Online: 27 November 2023 (07:04:00 CET)
Gastrotricha are microscopic benthic animals found in almost all water bodies. To date, about 870 species distributed in 71 genera, 18 families, and two orders are known. Known freshwater species are 359, several of which found also in Italy; however, a compendium of the studies carried out so far and a georeferenced distribution of the species still needs to be provided. This project aims to summarize information about Italian gastrotrichs' diversity and geographic distribution. Diversity data, acquired over 239 years, were reviewed and corrected based on taxonomic and nomenclatural updates and, in addition to distribution information, were organized into a data matrix useful for statistical analysis and to be feed to a Geographic Information System software to easily understand the overall figures. Results indicate Italy as one best-known country regarding freshwater gastrotrich, with 88 species in 16 genera and 3 families from 59 investigated localities; the Nation counts 16 type localities and 19 endemic species. Despite its censed biodiversity, many Italian regions remain still poorly or not investigated where future research should focus. Implementing a web mapping plugin enabled the creation of interactive maps for an easy and modern sharing of the work done and information acquired.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0392.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Biodiversity; Maluku; Metroxylon spp; Understory
Online: 19 January 2021 (17:34:15 CET)
Sago (Metroxylon spp.) is an important crop in Maluku. This study aims to identify the biodiversity of sago palm and understorey vegetation around sago clumps in Maluku. The research was carried out in six sago area from September 2015 to October 2016. The Sago Plant identification was carried out through the growth phase of sago, i.e. seedlings, saplings, weaning, trunks, and ripening. Vegetation observation was done in radius 100 m2 surrounding sago clumps. The result shows that Metroxylon rumphii Mart type. (Tuni sago), M. sagus Rottb. (Molat sago) and M. Silvester Mart. (Ihur Sago) dominates sago palms area in Seram and Ambon Islands, Maluku. There are significant morphological differences between the types of sago, especially in stem height, midrib width, leaf midrib colour, number of thorns, and flower stalk length, as well as the difference of carbohydrate content. Understorey vegetation of each observation sites diverse consist of 15 families and 20 species. The families that dominate the vegetation under the sago palms are Araceae, Thelypteridaceae, and Athyriaceae. The types of plants from Araceae are taro types and broadleaf, while those from the Thelypteridaceae and Athyriaceae families are types of ferns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0243.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: melissopalynology; honey identity; forage biodiversity
Online: 10 August 2020 (08:23:56 CEST)
Due to the great nutritional and medicinal value of honey, there has been growing consumer’s preference towards honey of a known identity. However, honey now is the third food in the world subjected to adulteration. Therefore, the current study was focused on judging the identity of Sudanese honeys and checking whether there is any misdesignation from originality. Melissopalynology was used as a tool for this purpose. A number of 60 honey samples were purchased from honey sellers. Results indicated that honey bees foraged on a bio-diversified number of plant species constituted of 11 major families [Fabaceae (43.3%), being the predominant family] and 8 minor families. Respectively, 18.3% & 2% of the honey samples were found to be misdesignated by the honey sellers from their botanical and geographical identities. Some samples were predicted by melissopalynology to be originated from Ethiopia by the presence of marker pollens such as Kniphofia foliosa, Guizotia abyssinica, and Acacia abyssinica an indigenous Ethiopian flora. Thus these findings proved that melissopalynology is an effective tool in judging the identity of honey and pro of being inexpensive.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0177.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: hydrogen; biocatalysis; metalloenzymes; spectroscopy; biodiversity
Online: 12 April 2020 (04:06:03 CEST)
Even 20 years after the first crystal structures of [FeFe]-hydrogenase have been published, several aspects of biological hydrogen turnover are heatedly discussed. In this perspective, we give an overview on how the diversity of naturally occurring and artificially prepared, semi-synthetic [FeFe]-hydrogenases deepens our understanding of hydrogenase chemistry. In parallel, we cover new results from biophysical techniques that go beyond the scope of conventional electrochemistry, X-ray diffraction, EPR, and FTIR spectroscopy. Taking into account both proton transfer and electron transfer as well as the notorious sensitivity of [FeFe]-hydrogenases towards carbon monoxide, the discussion further touches upon the molecular proceedings of biological hydrogen turnover.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0014.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Governance, Environmental Management, Biodiversity, Bangladesh
Online: 3 June 2019 (09:57:59 CEST)
Governance is one of the most essential instruments for environmental management. Biodiversity is in the core field of environmental governance. Yet environmental authorities are persistently challenged the loss of biodiversity as a very important global issue for several years due to high dependent exposure to risks. The study attempts to relook at the key governance tools that strengthen policies towards managing biodiversity within and around the national park’s survey in Moulvibazar district. The study showed that biodiversity related legislation amended was the highest in Bangladesh for the period of 2010 to 2016. The growth of policy instruments maximized at but in low environmental governance services within the same period. The study assessed that the existing environmental policy instrument is inadequate and sluggish for effective conservation, compared with several others governance tools and various performances are still below par. Governance knowledge is indispensable for biodiversity management but such knowledge is poorly identified. These results reflect the importance of effective governance for transparency that the State provides. The research is to represent a dynamic and adaptable framework that can be applied for collective governance relevant to policy integration, participation and enforcement in order to foster environmental conservation sustainability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0045.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biodiversity loss; conservation; deforestation; Bangladesh
Online: 14 February 2017 (03:08:37 CET)
Biodiversity has become an issue of global anxiety over the past decades due to its rapid decline worldwide. Bangladesh as one of the most densely populated countries in the world is no more exception. The country, although, was once very rich in biodiversity, during the last few decades as a consequence of the rapid reduction in forest area, urbanisation, habitat modification, unsustainable natural resources use and collection and overall climate change it has decreased alarmingly. Of late, the government, as a signatory of various regional and international conservation treaties, has taken various initiatives to improve country’s dwindling biodiversity. This paper reviews the present situation of biodiversity in Bangladesh, management trends and major causes of biodiversity loss. A separate statutory body is fundamental to ensure conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits arisen from biodiversity in the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0495.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: culture collections; biological collections; biodiversity; conservation
Online: 7 December 2023 (16:59:06 CET)
As part of a project ordered by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil, an assessment of Brazilian biological collections was conducted by the Brazilian Societies of Botany, Microbiology, Virology and Zoology to obtain data on the current state of these collections. The goal was to provide subsidies for future public policies, including financial support and prioritization policies. Herein, we present the results of the microbiological collections, which play a fundamental role in the ex situ conservation of biodiversity and support research, development and innovation. A survey was sent to public and private institutions in Brazil and answered by 168 microbiological collections from 79 different institutions. Among these, 73 comprise public research institutions and universities, demonstrating the State's importance in preserving and safeguarding Brazilian microbial diversity. The main taxonomic groups are bacteria (present in 70.24% of the collections) and fungi (52.98% of the collections) from different Brazilian ecosystems and biomes, including several type strains. Furthermore, the collections preserve microorganisms with biotechnological potential for application in environmental protection, public health, industry, and agribusiness. However, despite all these economic and biotechnological potentials, the data analysis showed serious limitations and fragilities, especially regarding physical infrastructure and human resources, and raises alerts about the risk that Brazilian collections are subjected to.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1237.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: lotic ecosystems; community ecology; biodiversity indices
Online: 20 September 2023 (07:58:38 CEST)
The aim of this paper is to compare the taxonomic composition and species diversity of the macrozoobenthos in Maritsa River (Bulgaria) and Han River (South Korea). Samples were collected at 15 selected sites in each river, including some of their main tributaries in 2020 and 2021. The number of the taxa recorded in Maritsa River was more than twice as great as in Han River: 192 taxa belonging to 19 systematic groups compared to 88 taxa belonging to 18 groups respectively. The order Ephemeroptera had the highest species richness: 31 taxa in the Bulgarian rivers and 26 taxa in the South Korean ones. The macrozoobenthic communities responded and adapted to the various conditions and impacts in the water environment with changes in the species composition and structure. The analysis of the similarity in the taxonomic composition showed low resemblance between all study sites but displayed distinct separations between the rivers and the two years. In general, the species structure of the macrozoobenthic communities in Maritsa River and its studied tributaries was better than in Han River. In both years, high species diversity was recorded at the reference sites in the rivers, characterized by conditions closely resembling natural environments. The species richness and the evenness of macrozoobenthos were very low at sites downstream subjected to considerable anthropogenic pressure. Some of the communities in Han River were almost destroyed completely.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1722.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: Neurosciences; Biodiversity; Psychopathologies; Biophilia; Human Ecology
Online: 25 July 2023 (12:28:49 CEST)
The high incidence of psychopathologies recorded in today's human society, correlated with the high percentages of biodiversity loss, point to the need for an interdisciplinary approach of the scientific fields under study – Neurosciences and Biodiversity Conservation. Thus, our approach here pre-sents, in a synergistic manner, the significant correlation between mental health and the increased values of biodiversity in the ecosystems located in the immediate vicinity, especially those located in the middle of cities. Our approach aims to emphasize the importance of biodiversity conservation in the context of preserving mental health and general well-being. There are a series of recent ex-perimental demonstrations that outline the influence of natural elements on the human psyche and implicitly the effects of nature in the prevention and reduction of stress, anxiety and depression. And beyond the cognitive barriers of humanity in relating to the surrounding biodiversity must lie the desire to know the values of biodiversity and the absolute importance of its conservation. The sustainable relationship between man and living nature, seen as a complex of biodiversity, is dealt with by a branch of science called Human Ecology. Therefore, this study emphasizes the crucial need to know and respect the connection between man and nature, based, since time immemorial, on biophilia. And with the regression of ignorance and the correlated approach of several scientific fields, some at the intersection of humanities and natural sciences, one can observe the progress of preserving the dynamic balance within the ecosystems and implicitly the preservation of mental health and human well-being.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0095.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: Food preservation; Biodiversity; Antimicrobial; Paenibacillus dendritiformis
Online: 3 May 2023 (04:38:47 CEST)
Paenibacillus dendritiformis UJA2219 isolated from carrot produces broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of partially-purified cell-culture extracts of strain UJA2219 on the microbial load and bacterial diversity of a home-made vegetable puree. The puree was challenged with an overnight culture of strain UJA2219 or with cultured broth extracts partially purified by cation exchange (CE) chromatog-raphy or reversed-phase (RP) chromatography and incubated for 7 days at temperatures of 4 °C or 25 °C. Best results were obtained at 25 °C with the RP extract, decreasing counts of presump-tive Enterobacteriaceae below detectable levels. The bacterial diversity of control and treated puree was studied by Illumina paired-end sequencing using DNA extracted from the puree samples incubated at 25 °C for 24 h. The controls and the puree inoculated with the UJA2219 strain showed an almost-identical bacterial diversity profile, with Proteobacteria (mainly Fam. Pseudo-monadaceae -gen. Pseudomonas- and Enterobacteriace as most abundant groups). Greatest differences in bacterial diversity were obtained in the puree treated with RP extract, showing a decrease in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria (especially gen. Pseudomonas) and an increase of Firmicutes (mainly of the genera Bacillus, Enterococcus and Lactococcus). Results from the study suggest that the antimicrobial preparations from strain UJA2219 have a potential for application in food bio-preservation.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0295.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: epidemiological models; transmission; biodiversity; dilution effect
Online: 30 March 2023 (15:26:45 CEST)
With the rising frequency of pathogen spillover worldwide, wildlife disease dynamics have received increased attention. There are many possible pathway a pathogen can invade and spread through a host population, and the assumed transmission model used to capture disease propagation can influence predictions of pathogen net reproductive success (R0), determining the outbreak dynamics. We synthesize a comprehensive overview of these models and overarching implications, using bovine Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) as a case study. We unify sub-models from the disease ecology literature and clarify the biological motivation behind these models and resulting ecological dynamics. We warn readers of pitfalls regarding the relative orders of the transmission parameters and reiterate that the contact rate determines the transmission model and thus defines key dynamical properties of an outbreak. Transmission in wildlife is linked to ecosystem and human health, and host community structure can mediate pathogen spread. We link these models with disease-biodiversity theories, by considering the role of host diversity in disease transmission, contributing to the debate on the effect of biodiversity and on disease outbreak potential. We decompose the various mechanisms of transmission in a stepwise process, and provide the reader a guide for modelling pathogens in both single-host and multi-host systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0254.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Morphology; insects; biodiversity research; ontology development
Online: 18 January 2022 (11:49:54 CET)
The spectacular radiation of insects has produced a stunning diversity of phenotypes. During the last 250 years, research on insect systematics has generated hundreds of terms for naming and comparing those phenotypes. In its current form, this terminological diversity is presented in natural language and lacks formalization, which prohibits computer-assisted comparison using semantic web technologies. Here we propose a Model for Describing Insect Anatomical Structures (MoDIAS) which incorporates structural properties and positional relationships for standardized, consistent, and reproducible descriptions of insect phenotypes. We applied the MoDIAS framework in creating the ontology for the Anatomy of the Insect Skeleto-Muscular system (AISM). The AISM is the first general insect ontology that aims to cover all taxa by providing generalized, fully logical, and queryable, definitions for each term. It was built using the Ontology Development Kit (ODK), which maximizes interoperability with Uberon (Uberon multi-species anatomy ontology) and other basic ontologies, enhancing the integration of insect anatomy into the broader biological sciences. A template system for adding new terms, extending and linking the AISM to additional anatomical, phenotypic, genetic, and chemical ontologies is also introduced. The AISM is proposed as the backbone for taxon-specific insect ontologies and has potential applications spanning systematic biology and biodiversity informatics, allowing users to (1) use controlled vocabularies and create semi-automated computer-parsable insect morphological descriptions; (2) integrate insect morphology into broader fields of research, including ontology-informed phylogenetic methods, logical homology hypothesis testing, evo-devo studies, and genotype to phenotype mapping; and (3) automate the extraction of morphological data from the literature, enabling the generation of large-scale phenomic data, by facilitating the production and testing of informatic tools able to extract, link, annotate, and process morphological data. This system will allow for clear and semantically interoperable integration of insect phenotypes in biodiversity studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0111.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Horticulture Keywords: Biodiversity; Fruits; Flowers; Metagenomics; Soil; Vegetables
Online: 5 November 2021 (09:55:23 CET)
Soil is a treasure trove of microbial variety, and bio-inoculants have the potential to improve the performance of horticultural crops under biotic and abiotic stress by boosting soil microbial diversity. Bio-inoculants are being developed to increase the diversity of soil microbes. The combined effects of bio-inoculants, on the other hand, result in the expansion of vegetation in the surrounding environment. Previous study on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus has shown the existence of agronomic and biochemical characteristics in horticultural crop species (AMF). Through the development of enhanced technologies for the analysis of RNA or DNA from soil, we may acquire a deeper knowledge of the microbiological diversity and functions of the planet, which are difficult to find using traditional societal approaches. It is not possible to uncover a full database of purposeful genetics, which includes both soil microorganisms and deliberate genetics. This is true for almost every soil type or circumstance. As a result of this review, this study offers suggestions for the use of bio-inoculants, the benefits of doing so, regular research strategies, and long-term research directions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0023.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: shifting cultivation; Philippines; biodiversity; carbon; REDD+
Online: 2 March 2020 (02:27:00 CET)
The Philippines is both a biodiversity hotspot and a megadiverse country. The country also has experienced one of the highest rates of deforestation in Southeast Asia and is among the first countries to introduce a massive reforestation program to address the country’s rapid biodiversity and forest loss. Drawing upon an empirical study from the Leyte island and other relevant case studies from the Philippines, in this chapter, we demonstrate that recovering secondary forests following shifting cultivation, locally known as kaingin have the high potentials for biodiversity and carbon co-benefits. Based on our empirical study, we also found that secondary forest regrowing after kaingin use can potentially be used as a cost-effective reforestation measure with multiple benefits to people and the environment in upland areas of the Philippines. We also discuss measures that are essential for such programs to be successful.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.2124.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: wetland restoration; biodiversity; post-evaluation; ecological monitoring
Online: 1 August 2023 (03:34:04 CEST)
Post-evaluation of ecological redevelopment is a good method for its achievements. The eco-engineering technologies and achievements of landscape water reconstructed from aquaculture ponds in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden have been introduced in this study. The sediments and water quality were also sampled and tested for basic physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentration. The ecological redevelopment of landscape water reconstructed from aquaculture ponds was evaluated using the Nemero comprehensive pollution index method. The results shown that nutrients including organic matter, organic nitrogen and their ratio of sediment were found to be in a state of moderate pollution, while their ecological risk of heavy metals was low. Although total nitrogen and total phosphorus of water quality was really higher than that of other indexes, the decline trends of ammonia nitrogen, total nitrogen and total phosphorus was obvious presented over time. In general, this is a good example that redevelopment of water ecosystems from aquaculture ponds using eco-engineering technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0247.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Kakamega Rain Forest; Conservation; Biodiversity; Complementarity; Agroforestry
Online: 14 March 2023 (06:14:00 CET)
A primary challenge facing conservationists is reconciling the human needs of forest adjacent communities with the needs of conserving forest biodiversity, especially in tropical regions with growing populations of rural poor. Agroforestry has the potential to simultaneously provide for human needs and enhance forest biodiversity, but the complex interactions and feedbacks between the social and natural dimensions are relatively undescribed and thus systematic implementation is rare. The attributes of trees on farms required for human needs and conservation value may conflict. For example, exotic species in monoculture may provide the most economic value for farmers, while relic or planted indigenous tree mixtures may be more valuable for biological conservation. The objective of this study was to explore whether agroforestry practices in a moist tropical forest ecosystem in Kenya can simultaneously provide timber and fuelwood value to small-holder farmers while extending forest tree biodiversity. We described the agroforestry attributes on farms around a tropical forest, assessed the relationship between number and biomass of timber/fuelwood trees and tree biodiversity, and explored the relationships between forest tree diversity attributes and farm tree diversity attributes on a landscape scale using spatial analysis. We found that the diversity and number of trees on farms in this area are extensive yet variable, but that no significant relationship exists between the number of timber/fuelwood trees and tree diversity. This suggests that the two values of agroforestry may not be in conflict, due mainly to the high diversity of trees used for fuelwood. We also found that trees on farms in the larger landscape add to the conservation value of forest tree biodiversity and could be important components in conservation management. If agroforestry is to play an increasingly active role in conserving biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes, particularly in areas of dense subsistence farmer populations, increase recognition needs to be given to farmer’s perception of the value of trees and their selection of what trees to plant or maintain.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0761.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: conservatio; , biodiversity; medicinal plants; smallholder farmer; strategy
Online: 30 December 2020 (15:26:11 CET)
South Africa has an abundant heritage of valuable indigenous plants with recognized medicinal value. The reported critical over-harvesting of wild populations is considered an urgent issue for biodiversity conservation. Growing demand for therapeutic products from indigenous medicinal plants have led to increased interest in its cultivation. Cultivation of these indigenous medicinal plants represent a viable option for improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods, as well as sustaining the availability of these resources for future generations. Serious bottlenecks however exists for subsistent farmers in the cultivation of these valuable plants. It was pertinent to probe whether the cultivation of medicinal plants provide feasible solutions to rural poverty, while effectively conserving threatened indigenous biodiversity. The paper employed a comprehensive review of existing literature to explore relevant issues constraining smallholder farmers from involvement in a potentially lucrative medicinal plants value-chain. Findings indicate challenges such as inadequate domestication of valuable plants species, continued over-harvesting from wild populations, poor knowledge of required agronomic practices, low efficacy perception regarding derivatives from cultivated plants, among a multitude of others. These constraints exists alongside the conservation-oriented strategy driven by international conservation agencies and wholly adopted by the South African government. Recommendations to improve smallholder involvement in the cultivation of medicinal plants include support to research and extension, targeted inducement to smallholders, contracting and off-take agreements, aimed at promoting an alternative poverty-alleviation-focused economic development strategy. The review adds to the conceptual discourse related to plant diversity, resource conservation, poverty alleviation and economic development within the medicinal plants value-chain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0249.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Cell And Developmental Biology Keywords: Caucasus hot-spot; Georgia; animal biodiversity; bibliometry
Online: 23 August 2019 (11:59:00 CEST)
We evaluated progress towards animal biodiversity research in Georgia, a key area in the Caucasus biodiversity hotspot. By reviewing recently (1990-2018) published articles in all areas of animal diversity research, we unmasked the trends in biodiversity inventory, ecological and biogeographical studies, and conservation issues in Georgia. We concluded that species inventory and biodiversity research in Georgia has significantly increased during the last ten years, however the rate and extent of investigation is far from satisfactory. Major gaps remain in all branches of animal diversity research in Georgia, and consequently existing knowledge is inadequate to address modern challenges related to species and ecosystem conservation. We urge local governmental authorities and international scientific societies to support development of stronger research facilities and cultivate interest in biodiversity inventory and research in Georgia as an important step towards maintaining globally important biodiversity in the Caucasus.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0299.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: barcoding; biodiversity; genetics; mollusc; phylogeny; snails; taxonomy
Online: 17 September 2018 (10:30:16 CEST)
We aimed to apply DNA barcoding tool for the molecular identification of horn snails T. telescopium using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (mt-COI) and to investigate their evolutionary relationship along with location-specific bio-geographical variations. The molecular data sets of this study indicate that strong probability of T. telescopium species taxonomic confirmation using mt-COI sequences. Results of the phylogenetic analysis suggest that Telescopium sp. was monophyletic with disseminated nodes and the evolution of group II originated from group I. The substantial genetic distance among the mt-COI sequences (0.005 to 0.184) were noticed. Large divergence between the south-west coast of India and Australia region population indicates limited gene flow between the two continents. Our study suggests that the genera Telescopium is globally ubiquitous but genetically showing inter-region differentiation. We conclude that mt-COI gene can be used to identify gastropod T. telescopium species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0005.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Probability And Statistics Keywords: sustainability; ecotourism; System Dynamic; tourism; biodiversity; communities
Online: 3 February 2017 (03:53:56 CET)
The sustainability of ecotourism is the backbone of tourism development of a country. Ecotourism can contribute to both conservation and development in which involves dynamic relationship between tourism, biodiversity and communities, facilitate by great management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the dimensions of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of ecotourism in communities surrounding the Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu, Malaysia. This study provides a framework for the development and evaluation of ecotourism. The framework will determine if the relationships between indicators are positively correlated which will result in positive contribution to the other by using System Dynamic. Socio-cultural and economic data will be collected through interviews and group discussions in selected communities in Tasik Kenyir. Data on wildlife will be extracted from secondary data from Kenyir Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. The data analysis will explore the socio-cultural and economic differences between and within different communities due to ecotourism development, the contribution of ecotourism to conservation activities, local support for conservation and ecotourism as well as the influence of tourist activities on the distribution of wildlife species in Tasik Kenyir. This study aims to contribute toward understanding the natural resource community-ecotourism inter-relationship and help to bridge the knowledge gap that hinders biodiversity conservation initiatives. The findings will be used as a base for further development of ecotourism and will recommend alternative management options where necessary for the study area.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0132.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS); resource mobilization; Digital Sequence Information (DSI); Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; biodiversity crisis
Online: 7 September 2021 (16:07:18 CEST)
Facing unprecedented global declines in the extent and integrity of ecosystems, the 15th UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15) in Kunming, China, presents an opportunity for transformative change. However, a lack of consensus on two key issues – resource mobilization and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) associated with Digital Sequence Information (DSI) – risks stalling negotiations for an ambitious ‘Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’ as the next 10-year strategic plan under the Convention on Biological Diversity. We highlight systemic misconceptions concerning the financing of biodiversity and the burden this places on the ABS system. In the context of DSI, we caution that conflating ABS with resource mobilization risks disrupting modern science policy built on open access, with potentially severe ramifications for scientific research and innovation. To resolve these tensions, we call for a recalibration of discussions on ABS in order to maximize the value delivered by biodiversity for all of society, including indigenous peoples and local communities.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Post-2020; Global Biodiversity Framework; Zero draft; Aichi Targets; Convention on Biological Diversity; biodiversity; extinction; conservation; IUCN Red List
Online: 5 September 2020 (06:27:39 CEST)
In 2010, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 to address the loss and degradation of nature. Subsequently, most biodiversity indicators continued to decline. Nevertheless, conservation actions can make a positive difference for biodiversity. The emerging Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has potential to catalyze efforts to ‘bend the curve’ of biodiversity loss. Thus, the inclusion of a goal on species, articulated as Goal B in the Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Framework, is essential. However, as currently formulated, this goal is inadequate for preventing extinctions, and reversing population declines; both of which are required to achieve the CBD’s 2030 mission. We contend it is unacceptable that Goal B could be met while most threatened species deteriorated in status and many avoidable species extinctions occurred. We examine the limitations of the current wording and propose an articulation with robust scientific basis. A goal for species that strives to end extinctions and recover populations of all species that have experienced population declines, and especially those at risk of extinction, would help to align actors towards the transformative actions and interventions needed for humans to live in harmony with nature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1182.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: remote sensing; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); fish biodiversity
Online: 19 October 2023 (03:51:06 CEST)
The analysis of the land use dynamics of the Lac Télé Community Reserve (RCLT) using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and (Enhance Thematic Mapper) ETM+ images highlight significant changes in the vegetation cover from 1980 to 2000 and 2018. Thus, the rate of forest area decreased by 21.41% for the entire LTCR in favor of savannahs which increased by 15.23%. The conversion of this forest area to savannah due to the practice of slash and burn agriculture facilitates the opening up of the forest area and contributes to greatly degrading the spawning grounds of fish species from the Likouala aux herbes river. For the mapping of fishing activity in general and the ecological characterization of the 151 identified spawning grounds in particular; the respective mean values of the physical and chemical water parameters; temperature (28.13°C), pH (4.23) and depth (3.34) did not vary significantly from one selected village to another between July and September 2019. The fish diversity unregistered during the study, in the 07 pilot villages would be due to the diversity of the microhabitats noted in the villages of the LTCR, especially from the villages; Botongo, Mossengue and Bouanela where the indices of ichthyological diversity were the highest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0578.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Participatory science; Biodiversity conservation; Landscape science; Michoacán; Mexico
Online: 8 September 2023 (13:02:26 CEST)
Participatory landscape conservation is an innovative approach that weaves theory and practice to bridge the gap between theoretical models and practical applications. Intertropical regions as the case of Mexico face challenges to conciliate regional governability, social justice, and nature conservation. The State of Michoacan is one of these regions where the challenges exacerbate since nature conservation is last due to its ongoing territorial disputes. We implemented the participatory landscape conservation approach by creating a complementary form of protected areas with ongoing conflicts, drought conditions, and extreme poverty. We conducted participatory mapping and land cover/use analyses as main methodological tools to reach consensus among stakeholders. We integrated, macro, micro and social scales to provide sound arguments to integrate local, scholar and policy makers perceptions. The outcomes of the participatory mapping analyses were assessed. The present papers provide evidence of the positive outcome of using a Participatory Landscape Conservation to establish a Biosphere Reserve, safeguarding one of the most biologically diverse and delicate ecosystems consisting of seasonally dry tropical forests within a rather disputed region. We discussed the relevance of our findings and compared them to ongoing regional and global trends in the light of other forms of establishing protected areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1364.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: biodiversity; COI; DNA barcoding; insects; Lepidoptera; Polyommatus; taxonomy
Online: 18 August 2023 (10:32:50 CEST)
The need for multi-gene analysis in evolutionary and taxonomic studies is generally accepted. However, sequencing of multiple genes is not always possible. For various reasons, short mito-chondrial DNA barcodes are the only source of molecular information for some species in many genera, although multilocus data are available for other species of the same genera. In particular, such a situation exists in the species-rich butterfly subgenus Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus). Here, we analysed partitioning of this subgenus into species groups by using three data sets. The first data set was represented by short mitochondrial DNA barcodes for all analysed samples. The second and third data sets were represented by combination of short mitochondrial DNA barcodes for a part of the taxa with longer mitochondrial sequences COI+tRNA-Leu+COII (data set 2) and with longer mitochondrial COI+tRNA-Leu+COII and nuclear 5.8S rDNA+ITS2+28S rDNA sequences (data set 3) for the remaining species. We show that DNA barcoding approach (data set 1) failed to reveal the taxonomic structure resulting in numerous polytomies in the phylogenetic tree ob-tained. Combined analysis of the mitochondrial and nuclear sequences (data sets 2 and 3) re-vealed the species groups and position within these species groups even for the taxa for which only short DNA barcodes were available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1388.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: amphibian; environmental DNA; metabarcoding; vernal pool; biodiversity inventory
Online: 20 July 2023 (10:47:54 CEST)
Amphibian populations have been globally declining since at least 1990. In temperate forests of eastern North America, vernal pools offer important breeding habitats to many amphibians but are usually not considered for forest management because of their small size and temporary status. Effective monitoring and management of amphibians rely on accurate knowledge of their spatiotemporal distributions, which is expensive to collect due to the amount of fieldwork re-quired. In this study, we tested whether eDNA metabarcoding could identify the same amphibian communities as traditional inventory protocols. We collected eDNA samples in twelve vernal pools in the spring of 2019 and identified their communities by metabarcoding. At each pool, three traditional amphibian inventory methods were used in May and June 2019: call surveys using acoustic recorders, trapping, and active search surveys. In total, 13 amphibian species were detected, most of them being detected by both eDNA and traditional methods. We found that species ecology and behavior are key factors of its detectability by a specific method. As eDNA metabarcoding is comparatively inexpensive and presents a higher repeatability, we conclude that eDNA sampling should be considered for integration as a standard monitoring tool, after an initial assessment of amphibian diversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0261.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: wetlands; Interreg Italy-Croatia; governance; biodiversity; protection; participation
Online: 16 February 2023 (02:24:32 CET)
Wetlands are complex ecosystems, considered among the most productive environments of the world. They contain major biodiversity hotspots, providing the resources upon which countless species of plants and animals depend and they perform important environmental and economic functions. Wetlands reduce flooding events, improve water quality and represent a valuable cultural and natural heritage. It is estimated that 2/3 of Europe wetlands have disappeared since the beginning of the 20th Century, mainly lost through development processes which did not take their functions and values adequately into account. The European Directive (2000/60/EC) re-quires to foster an integrated approach for wetland management through collaborative governance processes. The Wetland Contract is a tool that has been developed and implemented to set the ground for voluntary-based commitments for the sustainable governance of water systems. Among the Mediterranean countries, Italy and Croatia count on a rich variety of coastal wetlands that, together with the plants and animals inhabiting and crossing them, constitute an extremely precious natural heritage. The aim of this paper is to present and discuss, whit a critical approach, the output of the Interreg Project CREW that, between 2018-21, contributed to the drafting of seven new Wetland Contracts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0381.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Endophitic Fungi; Phylopgeny; Biodiversity; Molecular Biology; Growth experiments
Online: 22 August 2022 (11:00:55 CEST)
Antarctica is one of the most inhospitable continents on the planet, with lichens and mosses being the most common terrestrial organisms in ice-free areas. Antarctica is represented by only two species of Angiosperms, Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae) and Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl. (Caryophyllaceae). In this study, we characterized fungi isolated from the leaves of this grass species. The fungi were isolated from 4 individual plants from Half Moon Island (246 leave fragments investigated), and 7 from King George Island - Keller Peninsula (with 111 leave fragments investigated) Antarctica. Neoascochyta paspali, Phaeosphaeria elongata, Pyrenophora cf. chaetomioides and Alternaria sp. were associated with the plant and identified through analysis of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) of the rDNA and nuclear ribosomal large subunit rRNA gene (LSU) as well as macro and micro-morphological characteristics. The isolates showed a better growth rate ranging from 10–20°C. An interesting result was that the fungi are already recognize as both plant pathogens and endophytic fungi. The results demonstrate that D. antarctica is an interesting fungal source. Those species might provide important information about the relationship on the endemic Antarctic biota.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0310.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: DNA barcoding; metabarcoding; BOLD; taxonomy; biodiversity; molecular marker.
Online: 20 January 2022 (15:15:36 CET)
Systematics plays the most crucial role in biodiversity conservation which is at stake due to anthropogenic activities and environmental degradations. The ever-increasing decline of classical taxonomic expertise drives the need to develop molecular marker-based tools for quick, efficient, and reliable detection of organisms, to assess their ecological impacts for deepening our understanding of systematic and evolutionary relationships between organisms which is central to biology. The pace of alpha taxonomy has quickened by its integration with an increasingly fashionable and novel concept called DNA barcoding which utilizes a short genetic marker or barcode to categorize species for enhanced biodiversity assessment. As a supplementary but not complete alternative of systematics research, DNA barcoding, however, not error-free, brings precision in identification by solving existing problems of classical taxonomy and phylogenetics, irrespective of the growth stage of organisms, particularly for known taxa rather than unknown ones. Mitochondrial gene Cytochrome C Oxidase 1 (COI) serves as a universal animal barcode but there is no such universal barcode for plants and developing a suitable one is more challenging. With the recent advancement of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), DNA metabarcoding technology is advancing rapidly. Still, ambiguity and error prevail with the correct identification of species due to some problems. After extensive analysis of the existing DNA barcoding papers, this review discusses commonly used DNA barcodes in plants and animals, their roles, advantages, limitations to solve existing problems of conservation biology and add the author’s views and recommendations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0328.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: finfish; shellfish; biodiversity indices, ecological pollution; Payra river
Online: 22 October 2021 (11:58:21 CEST)
The Payra River is one of the large coastal rivers in Bangladesh which supports incredible fish species and has been affected by extensive human disturbance due to huge fishing pressure. The present study provides information about the temporal diversity of finfish and shellfish concerning climatological variables and ecological pollution along with threat assessment in the Payra River, Patuakhali. During the entire study, a total of 61 fish species including 56 finfish and 5 shellfish species were recorded under 22 families belonging to 11 orders. The order-wise fish species availability showed that the Perciformes (29.49%) was the dominant order based on species richness. Among them, 4 endangered, 6 vulnerable, 4 near threatened, 42 least concern, and 5 data deficient species were found. During the study period, the average Shannon-Weaver diversity index value was (3.33±0.12) indicates a good spread of fish population in the Payra river. Average Margalef richness index value was found (7.60±0.32), Pielou's evenness index (0.48±0.05), and Simpson dominance index (0.93±0.02) in Payra river. Dominance and Richness index value indicates clear water environment to slight pollution in the Payra river. Ten different kinds of fishing gears were identified under 3 major groups including 5 nets, 3 hooks and lines, and 2 traps. The phytoplanktonic genus and species revealed moderate pollution. Canonical correspondence analysis ordination plot showed that rainfall was the most influencing driving force among the meteorological parameters. The cluster analysis based on the Bray-Curtis similarity matrix showed that the winter season formed a separate cluster. In the recapitulation, the Payra River is a highly productive system that provides a favorable environment for a large variety of finfish and shellfish species assemblages. Findings of the conducted study are expected to be helpful for the respective researchers, policymakers, managers, and conservationists for the sustainable management of this water body and the interconnected surrounding neighboring countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0394.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: fermental traps; beer traps; Coleoptera; fauna; biodiversity; occurrence
Online: 15 March 2021 (13:56:08 CET)
The possibilities of applying various methods to study Coleoptera give unexpected and original results. The studies were carried out with the help of fermental crown traps in 2018-2020 on the territory of eight regions in the central part of European Russia. The biodiversity of Coleoptera that fall into crown traps includes 294 species from 45 families. The number of species attracted to the fermenting bait is about a third of the total number of species in the traps (this is 97.4% of the number of all caught specimens). The largest number of species that have been found in traps belong to the families Cerambycidae, Elateridae and Curculionidae. The most actively attracted species mainly belong to the families Cerambycidae, Nitidulidae and Scarabaeidae. Species of these families are equally attracted by baits made of beer, white and red wines. To identify the Coleoptera biodiversity of a particular biotope, two-year studies are sufficient, which should be carried out throughout the vegetation season. Especially good results can be obtained from studies of rare species that are actively attracted by such baits. It is possible to study the verti-cal-horizontal distribution of Coleoptera fauna in individual biotopes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0374.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Biodiversity; Cyanobacteria; Oscillatoriaceae; Nostocaceae; Microcystaceae; fresh water ponds
Online: 13 November 2020 (12:33:54 CET)
Cyanobacterial species (blue-green algae) constitute the major part of the phytoplanktonic biomass during the summer in freshwater ponds. The aim of the research work was to study the biodiversity of cyanobacteria among 20 different freshwater ponds of the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu, India. The morphological identification of cyanobacterial species was carried out using a trinocular microscope. The results showed that the maximum number of cyanobacterial species belonged to Oscillatoriaceae, Nostocaceae, Microcystaceae, Scenedesmaceae, and Desmidiaceae families. Among 25 different families of Cyanobacteria about 42 distinct species were identified. These results showed that the freshwater ponds of the Pudukkottai district have an abundance of cyanobacteria species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0608.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Biogeography; Ecology; Environmental samples; Micro-organisms; Soil biodiversity
Online: 25 July 2020 (11:54:02 CEST)
The Neotropical region is one of the most diverse regions of the globe in terms of macro-organismic species. Regarding the microbial world, however, little is known about the diversity and biogeography patterns of micro-organisms in the Neotropics. In this context, the study of several microbial taxonomic groups is still missing and/or incomplete, such as the protists. Our goal here was to summarize the available information of Neotropical protists, focusing on molecular data from environmental continental samples, to explore what these data evidence on their ecology and biogeography. For this, we reviewed the findings from all articles that focused on or included the terrestrial protists using metabarcoding approach and identified the gaps and future perspectives in this research field. We found that Neotropical protists diversity patterns seem to be, at least in part, congruent with that of macro-organisms and, different than plants and bacteria, just weakly explained by environmental variables. We argue that studies with standardized protocols including different biomes are necessary to fully characterize the ecology and biogeography on Neotropical protists. Furthermore, dismember evolutionary lineages and functional guilds of protists are important to better understand the relationship between diversity, dispersal abilities and functionality of particular taxa of protists in their habitats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0203.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change adaptation; ecosystems; Paris agreement; policy; nature-based solutions
Online: 14 September 2019 (12:07:15 CEST)
Ecosystems are not merely vulnerable to climate change but, if sustainably restored and protected, are a major source of human resilience. Not only is the evidence-base for the importance of these “Nature-based Solutions” (NbS) growing rapidly, but NbS are featuring with increasing prominence in global climate change policy. Here we report on the prominence of NbS in the 141 adaptation components of the 167 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that were submitted to UNFCCC by all signatories of the Paris Agreement. In total, 103 nations include NbS in the adaptation component of their NDC, 76 nations include them in both their adaptation and mitigation component, and an additional 27 include them as part of their mitigation plans only. In other words, 130 nations—or 66% of all signatories to the Paris Agreement—have articulated intentions of working with ecosystems, in one form or another, to address the causes and consequences of climate change. However, commitments rarely translate into robust science-based targets. As climate pledges are revised in 2020, we urge the ecosystem science community to work closely with policymakers to identify meaningful adaptation targets that benefit both people and the ecosystems on which they depend.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0133.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Music Keywords: quantitative musicology, biodiversity, ecology, interdisciplinary research, music analysis
Online: 20 April 2017 (10:43:40 CEST)
This paper introduces an ecological approach to quantifying diversity in musical compositions. The approach considers notations with distinct pitches and duration as equivalents of species in ecosystems, measures within a composition as equivalents of ecosystems, and the sum of measures (i.e., the entire composition) as a landscape in which ecosystems are embedded. Structural diversity can be calculated at the level of measures (“alpha diversity”) and the entire composition (“gamma diversity”). An additional metric can be derived that quantifies the structural differentiation between measures in a composition (“beta diversity”). We demonstrate the suitability of the approach in music using specifically composed examples and real songs that vary in complexity. We discuss the potential of the approach with selected examples from a potentially ample spectrum of applications within musicology research. The method seems particularly suitability for hypothesis testing to objectively identify many of the intricate phenomena in music. Because the approach extracts information present in the compositions – it lets the songs tell their structure – it can complement more complex modeling approaches used by music scholars. Combined such approaches provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research. They can help to fill knowledge gaps, stimulate further research and increase our understanding of music.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0123.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: co-management; livelihoods; conflicts; biodiversity conservation; sustainable development
Online: 24 November 2016 (11:25:34 CET)
Good governance in natural resource management (NRM) is one of the most challenging issues in developing countries that often inappropriately embedded in national policies and political agendas. It is, in fact, even more important for countries like Bangladesh with exceptionally high pressure and dependence on its natural resources for sustaining rural livelihoods. Globally, nowadays, good governance is considered as one of the key factor for achieving the goal of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. Bangladesh, of late has responded to that global zeal by involving local communities in the management of country’s declining forest and other natural resources. The colonial legacy of the forestry sector of Bangladesh was planned and, managed as interim projects through donors’ prescriptions. Thus, institutions, management processes and conservation outcomes were problematic. The conventional approach adopted by colonial and post-colonial regimes for forest management also proved to be inefficient due to its top-down management system. The absolute dependency on donor support, and their prescription sometimes worsened the situation both ecologically and socially. Global, regional and local trends supported the need for a different dimension in the governance paradigms. The introduction of a pluralistic approach, known as co-management in protected areas (PAs) is an example of an attempt whereby shared governance mechanism are implemented to attain the desired goals of conservation that will also address the livelihoods and aspirations of communities living in and around PAs of the country. However, in designing future forest and PA regimes the concern of the external aid support and attached conditions remain a reality that needs to be addressed. Adequate attention should be given to our vanishing biodiversity, culture and community livelihoods through devising an appropriate governance mechanism recognizing and supporting local rights, access and participation in the environmental management. It is now time to mainstream the adhoc nature of governance according to our national conservation strategy and policy frameworks in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the Bangladesh NRM sector addressing the human and community right of people in the specific context of forest protected areas management.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0101.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biodiversity conservation, livelihood, co-management, stakeholder, law enforcement
Online: 18 November 2016 (15:20:07 CET)
Despite of being an exceptionally biodiversity rich country, the forest coverage of Bangladesh is declining at an alarming rate. Declaration and management of protected areas in this regard is one of the efforts from government side to tackle the loss of biodiversity. The limited numbers of forest-protected areas (FPA), established to conserve the dwindling forest biodiversity of the country with high pressure on them for timber, non-timber forest products, and fuelwood - makes their management challenging. Moreover, most of the FPAs of the country declared only in the recent decades with very limited infrastructure, manpower and policy support for monitoring and governance. Some people-centred approaches for the management of FPAs and alternative livelihood and income generation subsidies although made available through a few project interventions, their number are still inadequate and performance remains less than satisfactory. This chapter provides a critical review of the FPAs of Bangladesh looking at their role in biodiversity conservation, management challenges, and key lessons from previous management interventions with recommendations for the future. It has been revealed that the FPA system of Bangladesh still poorly represents the diverse forest ecosystems with relatively small forest size and lack of corridors for the movement of wildlife. There are ample opportunities to render co-management of FPAs an effective strategy to minimize the conflicts in FPAs management in the country. It is, however, important to ensure the access of local forest-dependent people to different alternative income generating options that may adequately support their livelihoods.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity; biodiversity outcomes; indicators; management effectiveness; other effective area-based conservation measures; post-2020; protected areas
Online: 25 March 2020 (04:31:56 CET)
Work has begun in earnest to formulate a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework which will outline the vision and targets for the next decade of biodiversity conservation and beyond. However, the performance of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity suggests that even a meaningful target can fail to deliver if not accompanied by fit-for-purpose indicators. Here we provide a review of how ‘protected area’ effectiveness was addressed in the 2011-2020 plan and based on this, provide recommendations for fit-for-purpose indicators that will measure how such efforts contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. Indicators need to be built on quantitative data from site-level biodiversity monitoring of species and ecosystems combined with measurements of the state of nature in near-time, informed by remote-sensed products and other technologies. Additionally, indicators need to capture whether the essential elements of good management are in place including the identification of ecological values, threats, and objectives, equitable governance, and sufficient management resources and capacity. These fit-for-purpose indicators will require multilateral collaboration to galvanize support for, and resources to develop, the necessary infrastructure to collate and store information from countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1415.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: Plastic pollution; biodiversity; entanglement; ingestion; endangered species; digital media
Online: 22 November 2023 (12:18:25 CET)
Abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is a primary contributor to the entanglement of numerous marine species. Utilizing digital media platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram we conducted an assessment of the detrimental effects of ALDFG and plastic litter, on the biodiversity of Italy's marine ecosystem. Our investigation revealed that plastic litter has adverse consequences on various forms of marine life, including reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, along different Italian geographical sub-areas. Several records of interaction between plastic and endangered and vulnerable marine species have been described. Our reports even highlight the impact on marine turtles, mainly on Caretta caretta. This is the first report of entangled with fishing nets in Cetorhinus maximus, Oblada melanura, Serranus scriba, Homarus gammarus, Octopus vulgaris, and Phoenicopterus roseus. Furthermore, we identified that ghost nets have repercussions for endangered and vulnerable marine species. This update sheds light on the ongoing adverse effects of ghost nets on the Italian marine ecosystem, yet it is crucial to acknowledge that the true extent of the problem remains underestimated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1094.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: lichens; bryophytes; biodiversity; Castanea sativa; managed; unmanaged; agroforestry system
Online: 17 November 2023 (08:52:34 CET)
This study delves into the impact of contrasting management practices on epiphytic bryolichenic communities, shedding light on their divergent responses to management regimes on Castanea sativa orchards. Lichens and bryophytes were sampled in managed and abandoned plots, in 95 trees, in north and south sides and at two heights in Galicia (NW Spain). The studied groups exhibit opposing reactions to these management practices, bryophytes suffer adverse effects in managed stands, experiencing reduced cover and species richness compared to abandoned orchards, while lichens displayed heightened cover and species diversity. The size of trees, included as a covariate in our analyses, displayed no significant impact on the overall species richness of lichens or bryophytes, although it did influence the cover of specific functional traits. These differing outcomes are linked to alterations in environmental conditions brought by management interventions. Furthermore, the study uncovers divergent responses within the taxonomic and functional composition of epiphytic communities. Different species and functional groups exhibit varying reactions to changing environmental conditions, making predictions a complex endeavor. In conclusion, this research emphasizes the need for management strategies that account for the diverse ecological requirements of different species and functional groups. Since no single management regime will suit all species or functional groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1055.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: wetland; ecosystem services; land cover; biodiversity; sustainability; citizen science
Online: 16 November 2023 (07:47:05 CET)
Wetland ecosystems provide valuable services to human beings, but they are also among the most threatened ecosystems in the world (1). Sixteen ecosystem services are identified through the South African Water Research Commission's Wet-Health Tool (2). This study sought to establish which of these ecosystem services are highly ranked/rated by the community members living in the Soutpansberg area in South Africa. This area is a strategic water source/watershed. The area is rich in biodiversity and is also experiencing competing administrative jurisdictions: the local traditional leadership and the municipal council. This study also sought to determine the influence of age, education status, employment status, and family income, among other demographic factors, on how people view the importance of services derived from wetlands. It also sought to establish whether people in urban settings view the ecosys-tem services obtained from wetlands similarly to people in rural settings. A literature review was conducted to understand the wetland ecosystem services and how communities benefit from these services. A close-ended questionnaire was used to collect data for the current study, which was circulated among the villagers around the wetlands, particularly those living close to the wetlands. One hundred and sixteen responses from the study were recorded. Food for livestock was ranked the greatest benefit or service derived from the wetlands rated by 82% of the participants, followed by the provision of cultivated foods at 60%, provision of water for human use at 58%, provision of harvestable resources at 42% and erosion control at 38% completes the top 5 ranked ecosystem services in the area. The study concluded that the participants living in rural areas had greater awareness of wetlands' ecosystem services than their urban counterparts.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1646.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Scaling laws; biodiversity; habitat loss; ecological networks; tipping points
Online: 26 October 2023 (03:41:36 CEST)
Preserving and restoring biodiversity is becoming a great challenge as we face a world where planetary boundaries will likely be crossed over the following decades. Such challenge needs to consider multiple scales of complexity, both in space and time. A common thread in most cases is the presence of nonlinear phenomena generating shifts among alternative states. These breaking points imply a new perception of risk and different management strategies. A broad range of phenomena affect the preservation of healthy communities and constrain the ways to deal with conservation, from local features associated with habitat loss or facilitation to mesoscale or global network-level ecological complexity and the role played by extreme events. How are these scales connected? How can the emergent properties associated with ecosystem dynamics be exploited? Here a synthesis of ideas is presented, with a complex systems view of the different scales involved, the emergent phenomena separating them, and the universal properties that allow defining simple models on each scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1403.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Other Keywords: Chestnut biodiversity; pericarp; water extraction; antioxidant activity; cancer cells
Online: 23 October 2023 (09:56:13 CEST)
The residue of chestnut processing generates a large amount of waste material, a resource not adequately exploited. The phenolic composition of water extracts from discarded pericarp of four (MURG, LOCG, ILDP and COEV) chestnut accessions and one marron variety belonging to the Sardinian biodiversity was studied. The antioxidant capacity of cold and hot water extracts was determined by DPPH, ABTS and cyclic voltammetry tests. The antiproliferative effect on normal cells (fibroblasts), and colon (RKO and SW48), breast (MCF7) and melanoma (B16F10) cancer cells, was evaluated by biological assays. MTT test demonstrated that temperature and different extraction times significantly influenced the growth of cells, both normal and tumor. The fibroblast viability was significantly reduced by moderate doses of cold extracts, but only by doses greater than 250 µg/ml of hot extracts, regardless of the accession or cultivar. An even more marked effect was observed when RKO and SW48 were treated with cold extracts, while treatments on B16F10 melanoma cells resulted less effective. Differently, the cold extracts of all accessions induced a significant increase in MCF7 cell viability starting from moderate doses (50 µg/ml), whereas hot extracts had a similar, but less evident, effect compared to reference fibroblasts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0122.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: anchored hybrid enrichment; biodiversity, biorepository; nested PCR; Sanger sequencing
Online: 8 June 2022 (09:57:51 CEST)
Despite several decades’ effort to detect and identify phytoplasmas (Tenericutes: Mollicutes) using PCR and Sanger sequencing focusing on diseased plants, knowledge of phytoplasma biodiversity and vector associations remains highly incomplete. To improve protocols for documenting phyto-plasma diversity and ecology, we used DNA extracted from phloem-feeding insects and com-pared traditional Sanger sequencing with a next-generation sequencing method, Anchored Hy-brid Enrichment (AHE) for detecting and characterizing phytoplasmas. Among 22 of 180 leaf-hopper samples that initially tested positive for phytoplasmas using qPCR, AHE yielded phyto-plasma 16Sr sequences for 20 (19 complete and 1 partial sequence) while Sanger sequencing yield-ed sequences for 16 (11 complete and 5 partial). AHE yielded phytoplasma sequences for an addi-tional 7 samples (3 complete and 4 partial) that did not meet the qPCR threshold for phytoplasma positivity or yielded non-phytoplasma sequences using Sanger sequencing. This suggests that AHE is more efficient for obtaining phytoplasma sequences. Twenty-three samples with sufficient data were classified into eight 16Sr subgroups (16SrI-B, I-F, I-AO, III-U, V-C, IX-J, XI-C, XXXVII-A), three new subgroups (designated as 16SrVI-L, XV-D, XI-G) and three possible new groups. Our results suggest that screening phloem-feeding insects using qPCR and AHE sequencing may be the most efficient method for discovering new phytoplasmas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0261.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Africa; Biodiversity; Groundwater Resources; Integrated Watershed Management; River Basin
Online: 16 December 2021 (08:10:06 CET)
Human activities mostly impact the trend and direction of surface water, groundwater, and other river basin resources in the watershed in Africa. Human activities influence river flows and the water quality at both highlands and lowlands. A watershed is indeed a conserved area of land that collects rain and snow and empties or penetrates into ground water sources. The act of managing the activities around the watershed is the Integrated Watershed Management while considering the social, economic, and environmental issues, as well as community interests to manage water resources sustainably. These watersheds, river basins, and groundwater resources provide important services for communities and biodiversity. This paper reveals that the best way to protect groundwater resources is on a watershed basis using IWM. This technique enables us to handle a variety of concerns and objectives while also allowing us to plan in a complicated and uncertain environment. IWM involves cooperation and participation from a wide range of community interests and water users, including municipalities, companies, people, agencies, and landowners, for stakeholders' input to be successful. All of the strategies and plans are produced concerning one another, as well as the overall conditions of the watershed, local land uses, and specific issues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0535.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: biodiversity; sinkhole; Chironomidae; Copepoda; Trombidiformes; Cladocera, Ostracoda, Yucatan Peninsula
Online: 22 June 2021 (09:09:09 CEST)
This study is focused to the aquatic environments of the Sian Ka’an reserve, a World Heritage Site. We applied protocols recently developed for the rapid assessment of most animal taxa inhabiting any freshwater system, by using light traps, and DNA barcodes, represented by the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI). We DNA barcoded 1037 specimens of mites, crustaceans, insects, and fish larvae from 13 aquatic environments close or inside the reserve, with a success rate of 99.8%. In total, 167 Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTU’s) were detected. From them we identified 43 species. All others remain as a MOTU. For analyzing the adult fish communities, we applied the non-invasive method of environmental DNA (eDNA), and identified the sequences obtained with the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). We found 25 fish species, and other terrestrial vertebrates from this region. No alien species was found. After a comparison of the MOTU’s from all systems, we found that each water body was unique respect the communities observed. The reference library presented here represents the first step for future programs to detect any change in these ecosystems, including invasive species, or improve knowledge of freshwater zooplankton, because most of the MOTU’s are possibly new species to science.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Biodiversity; Conservation; Extinction; Threat management; Habitat retention; Protected Areas.
Online: 19 October 2020 (11:08:56 CEST)
Earth’s extinction crisis is escalating, and threat classification schemes are increasingly important for assessing which human activities are the most prominent drivers of species declines. However, a quantitative understanding of the conservation responses needed to abate threatening processes, and avoid species extinctions, is often lacking. Here, we provide a threat abatement framework which groups threats based on the shared conservation goal of the actions needed to abate their impact. We apply this framework to Australia’s threatened species to quantify the relative importance of achieving different conservation response goals. Our analysis shows the most important conservation responses across Australia are habitat retention and restoration, due to the combined impact of threatening processes causing habitat destruction and degradation (e.g. logging, mining, urbanisation and agriculture), which affects the majority (86%) of Australia’s threatened species and the effective control of invasive species (82%). Most species also require conservation responses focussed on improved fire management (66%). We show that implementing responses in isolation will be inadequate for abating species extinctions as almost all species (89%) require multiple, integrated management responses to redress their threats. We also acknowledge that already small and potentially genetically compromised taxa may require more direct interventions (e.g. captive insurance populations or genetic rescue). Our analysis highlights the necessity of addressing multiple threats at appropriate geographic scales across Australia. Our threat abatement framework ensures that core conservation actions can be identified and aid recovery of threatened species, and can be applied to other geographic regions and conservation contexts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0141.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Anthropology Keywords: conservation; biodiversity; human rights; livelihood; forest-dependent community; impact
Online: 9 April 2020 (08:18:52 CEST)
Background and Research Highlights: Despite all the concerns and initiatives, natural resources like forests, as well as biodiversity are decreasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Conservation is considered as one of the major tools to prevent such loss and rapid degradation. Evidence around the world shows the adverse effects of conservation laws and policies on indigenous peoples and other local communities. Objectives: This study was conducted in one of the forest-dependent communities situated in Sundarban (world’s largest mangrove forest) to understand the impact of conservation laws and policies on their livelihood. Materials and Methods: A qualitative methodology was designed to collect data, using focus group discussions and case study with community people, and individual interviews with the personnel from NGOs and relevant government departments. Findings: Strict conservation policies and restrictions in accessing forest resources made lives and livelihoods of the local community insecure and unstable, thus putting the community in a vulnerable situation. The had to leave their traditional mode of income and look for alternative livelihood options. Almost no evidence was found in relation to upkeeping their rights in conservation activities. Prohibited movement, provision of punishment for entering into the forest without proper permission and struggles in everyday life were some of the highlighted issues. They had no participation in conservation activities, management of alternative livelihood options, and even they were not sensitized before putting restrictions. Although they had a history of emotional and physical attachment with the forest, existing activities did not consider these issues. In addition, corruption and abuse of power by law enforcement agencies towards the local community intensified the sufferings. Conclusion: This study argues that the realization of human rights in conservation activities and the sensitization of the implementing stakeholders are prerequisites for ensuring the sustainability of both biodiversity and the affected people.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0278.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biomonitoring; metabarcoding; environmental DNA; biodiversity; implementation strategy; ecosystem management
Online: 24 January 2020 (11:01:41 CET)
A decade after environmental scientists integrated high-throughput sequencing technologies in their toolbox, the genomics-based monitoring of anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems is yet to be implemented by regulatory frameworks. Despite the broadly acknowledged potential of environmental DNA and RNA to cost-efficiently and accurately monitor biodiversity, technical limitations and conceptual issues still stand in the way of its routine application by end-users. In addition, the multiplicity of potential implementation strategies may contribute to a perception of the methodology as being premature or “in development”, hence restraining regulators from binding these tools into legal frameworks. This review focuses on the strengths and limitations of genomics-based strategies that have emerged over the past ten years and have been classified for this purpose into three broad strategies: (A) Taxonomy-based approaches that focus on known bio-indicators or the diversity of taxonomically described taxa, (B) De novo approaches that do not require well-established taxonomy, and (C) Function-based approaches that rely on community-wide metrics, where taxa are interchangeable, or on functional profiles instead of compositional turnovers. We finally propose a roadmap for the implementation of environmental genomics into routine monitoring programs that leverage recent analytical advancements, upon which some critical limitations are alleviated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0048.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: sampling methodology; mtDNA; mitochondrial DNA; conservation; biodiversity; populations; genetics
Online: 5 February 2019 (10:03:54 CET)
Population genetic data underpin many studies of behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary processes in wild populations and contribute to effective conservation management. However, collecting genetic samples can be challenging when working with endangered, invasive, or cryptic species. Environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a way to sample genetic material non-invasively without requiring visual observation. While eDNA has been trialed extensively as a biodiversity and biosecurity monitoring tool with a strong taxonomic focus, it has yet to be fully explored as a means for obtaining population genetic information. Here, we review current research that employs eDNA approaches for the study of populations. We outline challenges facing eDNA-based population genetic methodologies, and suggest avenues of research for future developments. We advocate that with further optimizations, this emergent field holds great potential as part of the population genetics toolkit.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0077.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; forests; nature-based solutions; policy; resilience
Online: 6 December 2018 (07:39:13 CET)
The current focus on afforestation in climate policy runs the risk of compromising both longterm carbon storage and human adaptation. It also works against efforts to stem the tide of biodiversity loss. We outline why an emphasis on diverse, intact natural ecosystems—as opposed to tree plantations with fast-growing exotic species—will help nations deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and much more.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1313.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: System of Rice Intensification; Traditional Rice Varieties; Conserving Rice Biodiversity
Online: 22 November 2023 (14:36:08 CET)
The genetic potentials of rice cultivars will need to be expressed to their fullest if global rice production is to be expanded enough by 2050 to meet the increased demand of expanding population while the availability of land and water per capita dwindles. New and ‘improved’ rice varieties have contributed greatly to increased production over the past 50 years, but the rate of rice yield increase based on genetic changes has declined in recent decades compared with the early years of the Green Revolution. In fact, many rice consumers continue to prefer to consume ‘traditional’ rice varieties (referred to also as local, native, unimproved, or indigenous) because of their taste, aroma, texture, and other qualities. Further, many farmers prefer to cultivate these varieties because of their better adaptation to local climatic and soil conditions and their evolved resistance to endemic stresses. The practices that comprise the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), including transplanting rice seedlings at a young age, wide spacing between plants, keeping the soil well-aerated rather than inundated, and enhancing soil organic matter, provide traditional rice varieties with micro-environments that are more favorable for the expression of their genetic and agronomic potentials. Interactions among rice plants, soil characteristics, water, energy, and other inputs improve the phenotypic and physiological performance of rice plants. This paper considers how the cultivation of traditional rice varieties with SRI methods can raise yields, reduce farmers’ costs of production, and generate higher incomes, while contributing to the conservation of rice biodiversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1839.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Reproductive success; Biodiversity; Plant-pollinator interactions; Nitrogen applies; Alpine meadow
Online: 27 July 2023 (05:17:30 CEST)
The variability observed in the annual seed production of perennial plants can be seen as an indication of changes in the allocation of resources between growth and reproduction, which can be attributed to fluctuations in the environment. However, a significant knowledge gap exists concerning the impacts of nitrogen addition on the interannual seed production patterns of perennial plant. We hypothesized that the addition of nitrogen would impact the annual variations in the seed production of perennial plants, ultimately affecting their overall reproductive efficiency. A multiyear field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of varying nitrogen supply levels (e.g., 0, 4, 8 kg N ha−1 yr−1 of N0, N4, and N8) on the vegetative and floral traits, pollinator visitation rates, and seed traits over a period of four consecutive years. The results showed that the N0 treatment exhibited the highest levels of seed production and reproductive efficiency within the initial two years. In contrast, the N4 treatment displayed its highest level of performance in these metrics in the second and third years, whereas the N8 treatment showcased its most favorable outcomes in the third and fourth years. The similar patterns were found in the number of flowers per capitulum and the number of capitula per plant. There exists a positive correlation between aboveground biomass and several factors, encompassing the number of flowers per capitulum, the number of capitula per plant, the volume of nectar per capitulum, and the seed production per plant. This implies that the addition of N affected the maintenance of plant aboveground biomass, flower traits stability and, subsequently, the frequency of seed production, and the reproductive efficiency. Our results suggest that augmenting the nitrogen content in the soil may have the capacity to modify the inherent variability in seed production that is observed across various years. These findings have the potential to enhance our comprehension of the impact of nitrogen addition on the reproductive performance of perennial herbaceous plants, and the underlying mechanisms of biodiversity in the context of global environmental changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1573.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Artificial intelligence; environmental impact assessment; strategic environmental assessment; biodiversity; digitalisation
Online: 24 July 2023 (08:46:03 CEST)
The opportunities and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Environmental Assessment (EA) are often mentioned. However, do we in the EA field understand the implications of what is happening in other biological sciences, and are we preparing for the changes that are coming? This interdisciplinary letter focuses on AI-driven developments in biodiversity data and analysis as a starting point for stimulating discussion about what AI means in practice for the field of EA. We highlight implications for training, transformation of practice and decision making as first steps in a research agenda.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1012.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Sustainable,forest management,innovations,participatory,growing stock, ecosystem services; biodiversity
Online: 7 July 2023 (08:27:26 CEST)
Forest ecosystems provide diverse services and values that contribute to human well-being. Although high proportion of species is still undiscovered, tropical forests alone are thought to host more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity. Beyond supporting via direct use of products like timber, fiber and biomass energy, they play an important role in providing a wide range of ecosystem services such as regulating water flow and quality, water purification, improving infiltration, fresh water, erosion control, carbon sequestration and sedimentation control. They are one of the important parts of terrestrial and the largest carbon pool, occupying an integral position in the global carbon cycle. However, these days, deterioration of nature and forest biodiversity is a severe danger to the global environment. This will be accompanied by increased strains on food supply, causing increased pressure on already delicate ecological systems. Thus, better forest management strategies are necessary for managing forests sustainably. Nevertheless, little is known regarding the existing forest management approaches and their associated benefits and challenges. Multidisciplinary approaches are needed to achieve sustainable management of forests. These can be accomplished if suitable forest management innovations are put in place. Various technologies can also be adopted through applying different forest assessment tools like remote sensing using light detection and ranging technology (LiDAR) in forest management. Harnessing such technologies will definitely result in providing increased socio-economy as well as improved environmental sustainability. However, the speed of transformation depends much on level of commitment of stakeholders including policy makers. As a result, this review is intended to explore existing forest management innovations which are suitable both ecologically as well as socio-economically. This shows that while there is a lot to be improved, there are already developed forest management innovations that are already in use including PFM and MFM, which helps to achieve SFM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0207.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: photosensitization; feed diversity; feed selection; biodiversity; phototoxic; feed quality; livestock
Online: 4 July 2023 (11:16:56 CEST)
As most prominent plant-associated disease, photosensitization in large herbivores provides a substantial data base to evaluate the conditions under which animals are concerned. The purpose of this meta study was to investigate whether the level of feed plant diversity and feed choice influence the incidence of photosensitization. Case reports from 1900 to 2022 served as database. 113 publications described 178 cases of altogether 12 animal species, most of them being farm animals. 73.6% of the cases originated from three continents: South America, Australia and North-America. Of the 40 phototoxic agents, herbs represented the majority (63.6%). Brachiaria, Froelichia and other four genus were associated in almost 50% of the cases. Usually, animals received feed both of normal quality and in fresh state. Secondary photosensitization was most frequent only when associated with poor feed quality. If the animals had had access to high-diversity feed instead of low-diversity feed, the incidence was 27.5% smaller. If the animals had the choice between various kind of feed, the incidence was even reduced by 56.1%. Horses could select the least, however, suffered mainly from primary photosensitization. We conclude that farmers may prevent photosensitization in husbandry animals by allowing both more feed choice and feed diversity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0215.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: Invasive species; alien; cryptogenic; impacts; CIMPAL; biodiversity; mapping; Aegean; management
Online: 4 May 2023 (07:41:56 CEST)
Biological invasions are a human-induced environmental disturbance that can cause major changes in ecosystem structure and functioning. Located in the northeastern Mediterranean basin, the Aegean Sea is a hotspot of biological invasions. Although the presence of alien species in the Aegean has been studied and monitored, no assessment has been conducted on their cumulative impacts on native biodiversity. To address this gap and identify the most highly impacted areas and habitats and the most impactful invasive species in the Aegean, we applied the CIMPAL index, a framework developed for mapping the cumulative impacts of invasive species. Coastal habitats showed stronger impacts than the open sea. The highest CIMPAL scores were four times more frequent in the South than in the North Aegean. Shallow (0-60 m) hard substrate was the most heavily impacted habitat type, followed by soft substrates and seagrass meadows. We identified Caulerpa cylindracea, Lophocladia lallemandii, Siganus spp. and Womersleyella setacea as the most im-pactful species across their range of occurrence in the Aegean but, ranking varied depending on the habitat and impact indicator applied. Our assessment can support marine managers in prioritizing decisions and actions to control biological invasions and mitigate their impacts in the Aegean Sea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0133.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biodiversity; cenote; chorros; Dajaus monticola; Floridichthys polyommus, parasitic copepod; Poecilia
Online: 7 December 2022 (13:50:53 CET)
: Belize is located within the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot and is an important link between critical biodiverse habitats in Central America. Despite considerable research on biodiversity in marine environments of Belize, research in freshwater environments is limited, with the most recent checklists having been published in obscure, mostly unavailable references more than 20 years ago.Belize is currently experiencing serious degradation of some of its major freshwater resources such as the New River in the northern part of the country. These unique habitats are increasingly threatened by agro-urban development, invasive species and erratic climatic events. The economically important barrier coral reef is also experiencing impacts from the degraded freshwater watersheds that empty into the sea near the reefs. This work addresses the paucity of documentation of the freshwater fishes of Belize, particularly for the Shipstern Peninsula area. The Shipstern Peninsula is a unique region in northern Belize, adjacent to the southern border of Mexico and the northeastern end of the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This paper reports on fish collected in 2015, with comparisons to historical data in surveys published in 1990, 1993, and 1997. We report on 12 genera/species collected in 2015 and provide molecular barcode data on several, which was not available in previous publications. Floridichthys polyommus, a new observation for the Shipstern Lagoon, and Dajaus monticola, a revised name and new observation for the Inland Blue Hole, were confirmed by barcodes. This update is vital to the continued management of freshwater environments in Belize, and especially for the Shipstern Peninsula and its important habitats held in trust for perpetuity for the Belizean people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0405.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: sustainability; solar energy; land-use; Taxonomy regulation; territorial planning; biodiversity
Online: 22 November 2022 (04:05:51 CET)
Solar energy (SE) is essential for decarbonization of our economy and for energetic transition. Solar energy can be a sustainable economic activity as long as a balance is struck between the benefits it brings to climate change mitigation and the damage it can cause to biodiversity and ecosystems. Here we study this balance in an area with high biodiversity under pressure for installation of numerous photovoltaic plants (PPs). Our results show that developers give priority to the cheapest land close to connection points, while other values (e.g., environmental, landscape) are secondary. The regulatory process carried out by the Administration does not ensure the preservation of natural values, as several PPs with a high impact on important conservation areas have been approved. Experts' allegations provide quality information to the Administration to evaluate and demand changes to the projects presented. Such demands show that companies are willing to relocate plants to land occupied by olive groves. In this way, greater efficiency is achieved in land occupation, as well as shorter evacuation lines, water savings and less environmental impact. Prior strategic territorial planning could have avoided the impact of PPs already built, made the deployment of new PPs compatible with biodiversity conservation, and contributed to improving the management of key resources, such as subway aquifers. The proposed regulatory changes to the environmental assessment procedure (exclusion of renewables and public participation from the procedure) are detrimental, as they will make SE unable to meet the requirements of the Taxonomy Regulation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0105.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: topical probiotics; skin microbiome; probiotics; biodiversity; microbiome; skin allergy; cosmetics
Online: 9 October 2022 (03:34:01 CEST)
In this paper we aim to help topical probiotics research and development achieve its potential as an incredible future solution for skin problems by investigating whether the current products on the market satisfy criteria for safe and effective use on the skin microbiome. As previously defined, this includes whether they use microbes known to be part of a healthy skin microbiome and in healthy amounts. In addition, we evaluate whether they contain live microbes, and therefore can be classified as probiotics according to the WHO’s definition. Using recent market analysis at least 84% of products do not contain live microbes. Of the products that appeared to use live microbes, they contained those used in research and development of probiotics for the gut. Due to the varying composition of each person’s microbiome, there is not a one size fits all probiotic solution. Personalisation of probiotics products is essential to satisfy the criteria for safe and effective use, but none of the products on the market, understandably, offer this. Upsetting the delicate ecosystem balance of the skin microbiome could have damaging effects and regulation could help to stop a loss of trust between consumers and cosmetics industry. Future work will perform an in-depth evaluation of the topical probiotics on the market in the EU, USA, and Canada. We will also investigate how to move the topic closer to achieving its potential by updating the criteria, including by discussing how to measure the success of a probiotic solution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0065.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Antarctica; microbial communities; refugia; metabarcoding; McMurdo Dry Valleys; soil biodiversity
Online: 5 September 2022 (13:39:20 CEST)
In the cold deserts of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) the suitability of soil for microbial life is determined by both contemporary processes and legacy effects. Climatic changes and accompanying glacial activity have caused local extinctions and geochemical changes to soil ecosystems over several million years, while high elevation refugia may have escaped these disturbances and existed under relatively stable conditions. This study describes the impact of historical glacial and lacustrine disturbance events on microbial communities across the MDV. Soil bacterial communities from 17 sites representing either putative refugia or sites disturbed during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) (22-17kya) were characterized using 16S metabarcoding. Regardless of geographic distance, several putative refugia sites at elevations above 600 meter displayed highly similar microbial communities. At a regional scale, community composition was found to be influenced by elevation and geographic proximity more so than soil geochemical properties. These results suggest that despite the extreme conditions, diverse microbial communities exist in these putative refugia that have presumably remained undisturbed at least through the last glacial maximum. We suggest that similarities in microbial communities can be interpreted as evidence for historical climate legacies on an ecosystem-wide scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0336.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: nature-based solutions; climate change adaptation; biodiversity; ecosystem-based adaptation
Online: 23 October 2021 (14:19:30 CEST)
Nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly recognised for their potential to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. These outcomes are interdependent, and both rely on the capacity of NbS to support and enhance the health of an ecosystem: its biodiversity, the condition of its abiotic and biotic elements, and its capacity to function normally despite environmental change. However, while understanding of ecosystem health outcomes of nature-based interventions for climate change mitigation is growing, the outcomes of those implemented for adaptation remain poorly understood with evidence scattered across multiple disciplines. To address this, we conducted a systematic review of the outcomes of 109 nature-based interventions for climate change adaptation using 33 indicators of ecosystem health across eight broad categories (e.g. diversity, biomass, ecosystem functioning and population dynamics). We showed that 88% of interventions with positive outcomes for climate change adaptation also reported measurable benefits for ecosystem health. We also showed that interventions were associated with a 67% average increase in local species richness. All eight studies that reported benefits in terms of both climate change mitigation and adaptation also supported ecosystem health, leading to a triple win. However, there were also trade-offs, mainly for forest management and creation of novel ecosystems such as monoculture plantations of non-native species. Our review highlights two major limitations of research to date. First, only a limited selection of metrics are used to assess ecosystem health and these rarely include key aspects such as functional diversity and habitat connectivity. Second, taxonomic coverage is poor: 67% of outcomes assessed only plants and 57% did not distinguish between native and non-native species. Future research addressing these issues will allow the design and adaptive management of NbS to support healthy and resilient ecosystems, and thereby enhance their effectiveness for meeting both climate and biodiversity targets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0284.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Watershed; biogeographic patterns; microbial biogeography; biodiversity; spatial distribution; research unit
Online: 20 October 2021 (09:34:27 CEST)
Biogeography research is flawed by the poor understanding of microbial distributions due to the lack of a systematic research framework, especially regarding appropriate study units. By combining pure culture and molecular methods, we studied the biogeographic patterns of nematode-trapping fungi by collecting and analysing 2,250 specimens from 228 sites in Yunnan Province, China. We found typical watershed patterns at the species and genetic levels of nematode-trapping fungi. The results showed that microbial biogeography could be better understood by 1) using watersheds as research units, 2) removing the coverup of widespread species, and 3) applying good sampling efforts and strategies. We suggest that watersheds could help unify the understanding of the biogeographic patterns of animals, plants, and microbes and may also help account for the historical and contemporary factors driving species distributions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0377.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs); Ecotoxicity; Biodiversity; Public Health,; Environmental safety
Online: 22 September 2021 (11:39:48 CEST)
There is a sustained rise in incidence of cancer and toxicity related to chemicals exerting enormous burden to public health and biodiversity. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are mong such contaminants, precisely the sixteen-priority characterized by United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Therefore, this review is aimed at further elaboration about the 16 USEPA characterized PAHs and threat portend to public health and biodiversity. PAHs are a class of very stable organic pollutants produced most commonly, by incomplete combustion of fossil fuel and are formed when complex organic substances are exposed to heat. PAHs in great amount due to build up over time by bioaccumulation can be perilous: to human beings of all age and levels, aquatic organisms, amphibians and reptiles. The soil like the aquatic environment contains substantial quantity of PAHs since, atmospheric PAHs sediments on the soil due to dry and wet deposition, terrestrial organism are impacted if the soil is saturated with PAHs. Therefore, PAHs are a great source of trepidation for food safety, public health and biodiversity sustenance. Hence, tackling the spade of the menacing ubiquity of PAHs becomes necessary from its sources by encouragement of alternatives to petroleum fuels for machines and vehicles.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0145.v4
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: Biodiversity Conservation, Sharks, Sustainable Shark Fishing, Fisheries, Shark Fin Trade
Online: 15 September 2021 (10:54:13 CEST)
A detailed analysis of fishing records has shown that the shark species accessible to global fisheries have been systematically depleted for decades. They were already fished to about 10 percent of their former levels by 2003. Now one species after another is being listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as their numbers drop towards extinction. Shark depletion has not been well documented and a large proportion of shark mortality has been bycatch, the target species being teleost fish. But with the rise in value of shark fins due to the shark fin trade, at the same time as teleost fish stocks have become severely overfished, sharks, along with tuna, have become the most valuable catches. Fishing on the high seas is scarcely profitable, and so is heavily supported by subsidies. But the shark fin trade, in which organized crime is heavily involved, is driven by enormous profits and provides a powerful demand for the fins of all sharks. Thus it is now being supplied by fisheries around the world. There is no interest in sustainability in consumer countries, and neither the will nor the resources to manage the trade exist. Although some shark fisheries might have been managed sustainably in some regions for certain species for meat, such fisheries are increasingly dependent on the shark fin trade.. The rising global demand for shark fins, coupled with the increasing depletion of the animals supplying that demand, makes commercial fishing for sharks unsustainable. Given their high ecological value across the aquatic ecosystems they inhabit, it is important that they receive more effective measures of protection going far beyond the currently existing ones. In particular, protection of all sharks, manta rays, devil rays and rhino rays through an Appendix I CITES listing should be effected immediately due to the scale of the global take of the shark fin trade and the state of shark depletion amply documented in the literature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0001.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Sacred groves; biodiversity conservation; Community-based conservation; Indigenous People; Nigeria.
Online: 1 September 2021 (08:42:18 CEST)
Globally, sacred groves represent a traditional form of community-based conservation system, recognized for their capacity to preserve areas that are of cultural and religious importance to local people. In most cases, the entire community takes on a watchdog role to guard against encroachment and unauthorized access either by its members or outsiders who might desecrate such sites. Our paper investigates the effects of different governance arrangements on three sacred groves in southwest Nigeria⎯Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove (UNESCO World Heritage Site); Idanre Hills (Nigerian National Monument) and Igbo-Olodumare (local cultural site)⎯on their socio-economic and religio-cultural benefits and contribution to biodiversity conservation. Using a mixed-methods design of a semi-structured questionnaire (n=167), key informant interviews (n=2), and focus groups (n=7), we collected data from local community members, traditional priests, sacred grove devotees and tourism officials. We found that customary institutions have guided reverence for sacralized spaces and wise utilization of their unique resources. The growing recognition of sacred groves has paved the way for socioeconomic rewards for individuals and government as cultural tourism increases. We found that the involvement of formal institutions alongside customary institutions in sacred grove management reinforces compliance with conservation laws within the sacred groves, especially where traditional norms are weak or may be disregarded. We discuss the implications of these observations and offer suggestions to improve community engagement, uphold traditional ecological knowledge, and develop ecotourism within the groves. We conclude that the co-existence of community-based conservation through a system of established traditional norms and prohibitions as well as formal government legislation and management, offers assurance for the long-term preservation of sacred groves and their biodiversity.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0633.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Biofortification; Agro-biodiversity; HarvestPlus; Hidden Hunger; Orphan Crops; Wild edibles
Online: 28 July 2021 (16:18:29 CEST)
Biofortification refers to the increase in the amount of essential vitamins or provitamins or minerals in crops to improve the nutritional status of the people, which is largely intended to alleviate the problem of micronutrient malnutrition. I argue that biofortification may not be an effective weapon to fight against the hidden hunger since it demonstrates limited capacity on nutritional enhancement and can negatively impact the socio-economic fabric of the society in many different ways. Finally, I suggest a couple of alternatives that might meet the challenge more efficiently than biofortified crops.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0357.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: biodiversity loss; climate change; ecosystems; exotic species; agriculture; forestry; fisheries
Online: 25 February 2020 (05:06:15 CET)
Bangladesh has a history of species introduction from different geographic regions. The country was a major trade route during the early-modern era and was under British colonial rule until 1947s. Many species of plants and animals are either domesticated or cultivated at different times that were brought into the country by the settlers, seamen, and traders. The deliberate preferences of fast-growing, high-yielding exotics in recent decades also threaten the existence of native species and their genetic resources in the country. Here we provide an overview of the invasive alien species in Bangladesh, likely pathways of their introduction, their impacts on ecosystem and people, and strategies for their effective management and regulation. Many exotic plants and animals both terrestrial and aquatic have found to be invasive in the country with negative impacts on local ecosystems, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Collectively, those species possess serious threats to country’s agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sector. Although initially introduced to favor primary productivity or other environmental benefits, many of these are now regarded as obnoxious pest or weed in Bangladesh. A comprehensive list of invasive species both for native and exotics and a framework to characterize them is also absent in the country. We recommend a separate statutory body and appropriate rules and policies for the introduction, monitoring, and management of alien species in the country. Community awareness, advocacy, surveillance, capacity building of relevant government staff and agreement with neighboring countries for transboundary management of invasive alien species is also necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0288.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: ecosystem services; valuation; monetization; assessment; mapping, biodiversity; geographic information technologies
Online: 12 November 2018 (11:51:07 CET)
Putting value to ecosystem services is something that society still refuses or simply ignores because it is not aware of the benefits that ecosystems provide us. In fact, people should be aware that a good understanding of ecosystem services can lead to win-win situations. Being aware of the importance of preserving the ecosystem and attaching value to its services will enable the development of self-sustaining strategies and appropriate policies for better ecological governance. Decades of over exploitation of natural resources, introduction and spread of alien species and, also, climate change, forest fires among other threats, have fostered biodiversity loss. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy has as one of its main goals to stop biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services; if possible, to recover the most threatened and degraded ecosystems, based on 20 Actions divided into 6 Targets. The present work falls within the scope of Action 5 of Target 2 – Improve knowledge of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The specific focus of this study is the Site of Community importance “Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas” (Portugal) and the assessment of its ecosystem services, in accordance with the methodology proposed by the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) Working Group. The work currently under way, a small segment of which is presented here, aims to identify, map and, when possible, assign value to the ecosystem services. For this purpose, modern GIS technologies will be used. This approach was implemented using a combination of data and tasks, including the photo-interpretation of Sentinel 2 (COPERNICUS Program) satellite imagery. The data geoprocessing tasks and image segmentation were developed using QGIS software and IMPACT Toolbox software (developed by the Joint Research Center – JRC, of the European Union), respectively. The analysis of Land Use and Burned Areas maps for the SCI "Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas" led us to conclude that Forests ecosystems, the most affected by the fire of October 2017, continue to have the greatest expression in the area under study even though they have lost more than 50% of the area, and their services were also the ones most affected by the fire.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0100.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; climate refugia; forest conservation policies; forest conversion
Online: 3 August 2017 (06:11:35 CEST)
A scenario-based approach to the impacts of land use and climate change can help in identifying future policy directions. This study models the impacts of different land use and climate change scenarios on the forest ecosystems of South Korea to identify national-scale forest policy options. Climatically suitable forest areas for 1,031 climate vulnerable plant species were identified for current time and for 2050. We calculated change in species richness under four climate projections. We built forest conversion models and created four 2050 forest scenarios: (1) forest loss continues at current rates; (2) similar loss, but with conservation in areas with suitable future climates; (3) a reduction of loss by 50%; and (4) a combination of preservation and overall reduction of loss by 50%. We then crossed the forest conversion models with the climate-driven change in species richness, and categorized current forest areas into four classes to offer forest policy alternatives. By deploying the scenarios which preserve climatically suitable forests, the average species richness where forests converting to other land uses reduced significantly. We suggest conserving forests with suitable climates for biodiversity conservation and the establishment of forest plantations targeted to areas where species richness will decline based on our results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0574.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Wetlands; Biodiversity; Environmental Hazards; Water Quality; Al-Asfar Lake; Saudi Arabia
Online: 10 October 2023 (04:33:25 CEST)
Saudi Arabia consists mainly of desert land. However, it has big and small natural wetlands and artificial wetlands. Most of these wetlands are seen along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf coastal regions. Al-Asfar Lake, located in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia, is one of the historical landmarks of Al-Ahsa province. The primary lake water source is agricultural drainage water, which some refer to as an artificial lake. This paper mainly aims to reflect shade on the wetlands in Saudi Arabia in general and to show in detail the environmental impacts of Al-Asfar Lake on the ecosystem and biodiversity of the study area. The analytical review of the previous studies conducted in Al-Asfar Lake was adopted in this article. Hence, the impact of the lake on the land-use system, water quality and biodiversity was illustrated as the main outputs of the review analysis. However, the sustainable management of Al-Asfar Lake requires the stakeholders to adopt the wetland ecosystem health concept, which might lead to improving the lake's environmental conditions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0064.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: organic foods; food safety; obesity; cancer; biodiversity; climate change; organic farming
Online: 2 October 2023 (12:02:11 CEST)
In recent years, organic agriculture has gained more popularity, yet its approach to food production and its potential impact on consumers’ health and various environmental aspects remain to be fully discovered. The goal of organic farming practices is to maintain soil health, sustain ecological systems, maintain fairness in its relationship with the environment and protect the environment in its entirety. Various health benefits have been associated with higher consumption of organic foods. This review identified some of these health benefits including a reduction in obesity and body mass index (BMI), improvements in blood nutrient composition as well as a reduction in maternal obesity and pregnancy-associated preeclampsia risk. Furthermore, organic food consumption can reduce the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and colorectal cancers. Upon reviewing existing literature regarding the nutritional value of organic foods, it was found that organic food contained higher levels of iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. However, the evidence available to draw definitive generalizations remains limited. In this review, we provided essential insights to support sustainable organic farming and highlighted the potential of organic food consumption that could play a pivotal role in positively impacting human health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1260.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: marine ecosystem restoration; habitat restoration; artificial reef; restoration strategies; biodiversity conservation
Online: 17 August 2023 (07:30:05 CEST)
Maldivian coral reefs have been experiencing significant degradation due to a combination of global climate change and local anthropogenic pressures. To enforce the conservation of coral reefs worldwide, coral restoration is becoming a popular tool to restore ecosystems actively. In the Maldives, restoration interventions are performed only around touristic islands, where there are economic resources available to support these projects. Unfortunately, on local islands, coral restoration does not benefit from the same support and is rarely boosted. A challenging coral restoration intervention has been performed, for the first time, a on a local island of the Maldives affected by intense human pressures that caused the degradation of its reefs. A total of 242 coral fragments were collected from impacted colonies and transferred to the coral nursery of the island. Survival and growth rates of the fragments were monitored for 12 months. After one year, a survival rate of 70.2% was recorded. Although this rate might appear lower when compared to other restoration experiences, it is very promising considering the origin of the fragments and the poor quality of the environment where they have been transplanted. Some potential threats to the success of this restoration have also been identified, i.e., water temperature anomaly, diseases and parasites, the latter being the leading causes of coral mortality. The procedure presented here is comparatively less expensive than the typical relocation of entire coral colonies from donor healthy reefs to degraded reefs, thus providing an opportunity and a viable option also for local islands to restore their reefs and preserve local biodiversity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0138.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: buruli ulcer; Mycobacterium ulcerans; DNA; cryptic biodiversity; genetic diversity; antibiotherapy; diagnosis
Online: 2 August 2023 (04:27:14 CEST)
The identification of an emerging pathogen in humans can remain difficult by conventional methods such as enrichment culture assays that remain highly selective, require appropriate medium and cannot avoid misidentifications, or serological tests that use surrogate antigens and are often hampered by the level of detectable antibodies. Although not originally designed for this purpose, the implementation of polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) has resulted in an increasing number of diagnostic tests for many diseases. However, the design of specific molecular assays relies on the availability and reliability of published genetic sequences for the target pathogen as well as enough knowledge on the genetic diversity of species and/or variants giving rise to the same disease symptoms. Usually designed for clinical isolates, molecular tests are often not suitable for environmental samples in which the target DNA is mixed with a mixture of environmental DNA. A key challenge of such molecular assays is thus to ensure high specificity of the target genetic markers when focusing on clinical and environmental samples in order to follow the dynamics of disease transmission and emergence in humans. Here we focus on Buruli ulcer (BU), a human necrotizing skin disease mainly affecting tropical and subtropical areas, commonly admitted to be caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans worldwide although other mycolactone-producing mycobacteria and even mycobacterium species were found associated with BU or BU-like cases. By revisiting the literature, we show that many studies have used non-specific molecular markers (IS2404, IS2606, KR) to identify M. ulcerans from clinical and environmental samples and propose that all mycolactone-producing mycobacteria should be definitively considered as variants from the same group rather than different species. Importantly, we provide evidence that the diversity of mycolactone-producing mycobacteria variants as well as mycobacterium species potentially involved in BU or BU-like skin ulcerations might have been underestimated. We also suggest that the specific variants/species involved in each BU or BU-like case should be carefully identified during the diagnosis phase, either via the key of genetic identification proposed here or by broader metabarcoding approaches, in order to guide the medical community in the choice for the most appropriate antibiotic therapy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0978.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: city biodiversity; bibliometric analysis; bibliometrix; research development; research trend; science mapping
Online: 26 April 2023 (10:55:37 CEST)
The biodiversity loss in urban areas has attracted public concern, which is one of the urgent global environmental issues. This study used bibliometric methods to analyze 3351 publications from 1995-2021 that retrieved from the Web of Science and visually represented the state-of-the-art of researches in city biodiversity field. The prolific authors, journals(sources), institutions, and countries are clearly identified. The most cited and influential paper proposed a conceptual framework of associations between urban green space, and ecosystem and human health, and then concluded that green infrastructure could physically and psychologically benefits people by ecosystem services it provides, and make a better socio-economic benefit. The theme hotspots are urbanization, urban ecology, ecosystem services, urban planning, green infrastructure, urban forest and urban park et al. Ingo Kowarik is the most productive author in terms of number of publications. Michael L. McKinney is the most cited authors by the publications in analyzed corpus, who identified how urbanization harms native ecosystems, however, a well ecologically educated population could greatly enhance species richness in all ecosystems. Urban park, garden, fragmented green spaces and green corridor networks could help enhance city biodiversity. In general, the city biodiversity research presents a trend that involves intensive global cooperation, and become more comprehensive.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Transboundary management; biodiversity; species distributions; Exclusive Economic Zones; marine conservation; collaboration
Online: 20 May 2021 (10:14:11 CEST)
Marine species are declining at an unprecedented rate, catalyzing many nations to adopt conservation and management targets within their jurisdictions. However, marine species and the biophysical processes that sustain them are naive to international borders. An understanding of the prevalence of cross-border species distributions is important for informing high-level conservation strategies, such as bilateral or regional agreements. Here, we examined 28,252 distribution maps to determine the number and locations of transboundary marine plants and animals. Over 90% of species have ranges spanning at least two jurisdictions, with 58% covering more than ten jurisdictions. All jurisdictions have at least one transboundary species, with the highest concentrations of transboundary species in the USA, Australia, Indonesia, and the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. Distributions of mapped biodiversity indicate that overcoming the challenges of multinational governance is critical for a much wider suite of species than migratory megavertebrates and commercially exploited fish stocks—the groups that have received the vast majority of multinational management attention. To effectively protect marine biodiversity, international governance mechanisms (particularly those related to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, and Regional Seas Organizations) must be expanded to promote multinational conservation planning, and complimented by a holistic governance framework for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0308.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Indonesia; biodiversity; novel antibiotics; drug screening; bioactivity; gene cluster networking; GNPS
Online: 13 May 2021 (14:05:00 CEST)
Indonesia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and a promising resource for novel natural compound producers. Actinomycetes produce about two-thirds of all clinically used antibiotics. Thus, exploiting Indonesia’s microbial diversity for actinomycetes may lead to the discovery of novel antibiotics. A total of 422 actinomycete strains were isolated from three different unique areas in Indonesia and tested for their antimicrobial activity. Nine potent bioactive strains were prioritized for further drug screening approaches. The nine strains were cultivated in different solid and liquid media and a combination of genome mining analysis and mass spectrometry (MS)-based molecular networking was employed to identify potential novel compounds. By correlating secondary metabolite gene cluster data with MS-based molecular networking results, we identified several gene cluster-encoded biosynthetic products from the nine strains, including naphthyridinomycin, amicetin, echinomycin, tirandamycin, antimycin, and desferrioxamine B. Besides, eight putative ion clusters and numerous gene clusters were detected that could not be associated with any known compound, indicating that the strains can produce novel secondary metabolites. Our results demonstrate that sampling of actinomycetes from unique and biodiversity-rich habitats, such as Indonesia, along with a combination of gene cluster networking and molecular networking approaches, accelerates natural product identification.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0355.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Ecosystem services; Biodiversity hotspot; Sri Lanka; Forest; coastal ecosystems; management; policy
Online: 12 March 2021 (20:41:59 CET)
Tropical island countries are often highly populated and deliver immense ecosystem service benefits. As human wellbeing depends on these ecosystems proper management is crucial in the resource-rich tropical lands where related research is less. Though the ecosystem service and biodiversity studies are a promising path to inform the ecosystem management for these mostly developing countries published evidence of using ecosystem service studies in decision-making is lacking. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of ecosystem services and related research in Sri Lanka examining trends and gaps and how these studies are conceptualized. Out of considered 139 peer-reviewed articles majority of articles 42.4% were terrestrial and forest related while coastal ecosystems were considered in 34.5% of studies. In most studies, the ecosystem service category was provisioning (33.8%) followed by regulatory service (30.9%). Studies investigating and quantifying ecosystem services, pressures on ecosystems, and their management were fewer compared to studies related to biodiversity or species introduction. Moreover, studies investigating the value of ecosystem services and biodiversity to the communities or involvement of stakeholders in the development of management actions regarding the ecosystem services were rare in Sri Lanka and intense focus of future studies in these aspects are timely and necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0185.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Sustainability; Sustainable Development Goals; SDG; Resource security; Land; Water; Air; Biodiversity
Online: 7 August 2020 (10:19:38 CEST)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) purport to report holistically on progress towards sustainability and do so using more than 231 discrete indicators with a primary objective to achieve a balance between the environment, social and economic aspects of development. The research question underpinning the analyses presented in this paper is: are the indicators in the SDGs sufficient and fit-for-purpose to assess the trajectory of natural resources towards sustainability? We extracted the SDG indicators that monitor the state of natural resources, or alternately support policy or governance for their protection, and determined if these are adequate to provide the essential data on natural resources to achieve the aims of the SDGs. The indicators are clustered into four natural resource categories; land, water (both marine and freshwater), air and biodiversity. Indicators for monitoring land resources show that the most comprehensive land resource indicator, for degraded land, is not fully implemented and that missing from land monitoring is an evaluation of vegetation health outside of forests and mountains, the condition of soils, and most importantly the overall health of terrestrial ecosystems. Indicators for monitoring water resources have substantial gaps, unable to properly monitor water quality, water stress, many aspects of marine resources and most significantly, the health of fresh and salt water ecosystems. Indicators for monitoring of air have recently become more comprehensive, but linkage to IPCC results would benefit both programmes. Monitoring of biodiversity is perhaps the greatest weakness of the SDG Agenda, having no comprehensive assessment even though narrow aspects are monitored. Again, deliberate linkages to other global biodiversity programmes (e.g. CBD and the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework; IPBES; Living Planet, etc.) are recommended on condition that data can be defined at a country level. While the SDG list of indicators in support of natural resource is moderately comprehensive, it lacks holistic monitoring in relation to evaluation of ecosystems and biodiversity to the extent that these missing but vital measures of sustainability threaten the entire SDG Agenda. In addition, an emerging issue is that even where there are appropriate indicators, the amount of country-level data remains inadequate to fully evaluate sustainability. This signals the delicate balance between the extent and complexity of the SDG Agenda and uptake at a country level
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: weed management; integrated tillage; integrated mowing; herbicide; biodiversity and fruit production
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:19:14 CEST)
Despite the productivity, achieving long-term sustainability and maintaining plant biodiversity become the pivotal goals in orchard floor management, especially along tree rows. Thus, the paradigm of eradicating weeds in the tree row using chemical herbicide or repeated soil tillage needs to be substituted with more sustainable alternatives. This study was conducted in two commercial apple and peach orchards in Marche region (Italy). Two integrated mechanical approaches, integrated mowing (mower + brush or disc) and integrated tillage (blade weeder + integrated mowing), were compared with standard herbicide system in a 2-years trial. Weed species abundance, soil coverage rate, and weed biomass productions, including gas exchange parameters, tree growth, fruit yield and quality were measured. Both integrated practices had significant effects on the number of weed species, total vegetation coverage, and dry weed biomass production. No significant differences were found in terms of tree gas exchange parameters, growth and fruit yield. However, a few fruit quality parameters such as fruit firmness, solid soluble content and dry matter content responded positively to the integrated practices. These results suggest that the integrated mechanical approaches of weed management increased orchard biodiversity, and they had no adverse effects on tree growth, fruit yield, and quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0463.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Ethnic And Cultural Studies Keywords: Artemia franciscana; non-native population; mtDNA-COI; genetic variation; biodiversity; UAE
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:38:16 CEST)
Artemia franciscana, native to America, has recently colonized non-indigenous populations in Eurasia, Mediterranean regions and Australia. In present we sought to evaluate the potential effects of colonization of A. franciscana on genetic differentiation in the new environments in UAE. We used the COI marker to determine population genetic structure and identify the origins of exotic populations in UAE. Our findings have confirmed the colonization of both localities by A. franciscana. Genetic variation of invasive A. franciscana were exclusively lower than native population in Great Salt Lake and San Francisco Bay. Results have showed the studied population could not possibly have colonized directly from natural American localities, perhaps resulting from secondary introduction events from other non-indigenous populations. Genetic analysis have yielded different demographic patterns for invasive studied populations. Al Wathba Wetland Reserve (AWWR) population have represented demographic expansion. In contrast, Godolphin Lakes (GL) population was at demographic equilibrium. Neutrality tests have documented the excess of both recent and historical mutations in the COI gene pool of invasive AWWR Artemia throughout establishment in the new environment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0104.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biodiversity; conserved areas; ecosystem services; effectiveness; management; protected areas; representative; targets
Online: 11 January 2020 (10:58:38 CET)
Humanity will soon define a new era for nature – one that seeks to correct decades of underwhelming responses to the global biodiversity crisis. Area-based conservation efforts, which include both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, are likely to extend and diversify. But persistent shortfalls in ecological representation, management effectiveness and measurable biodiversity outcomes diminish the potential role of area-based conservation in stemming biodiversity loss. Here we show how protected area expansion by governments since 2010 has had limited success in increasing biodiversity coverage, and identify four emergent issues that –if addressed – will enhance the performance of area-based conservation post-2020. We close with recommendations for a broad biodiversity agenda that maximises the potential of area-based conservation. Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity must recognise that area-based conservation primarily focuses on local threats to species and ecosystems, and needs enhanced emphasis on biodiversity outcomes to better track and fund its contribution to global conservation efforts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0039.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: tree species; forest; biodiversity; time series; spatial autocorrelation; cross-validation; accuracy
Online: 3 October 2019 (13:56:18 CEST)
Mapping forest composition using multiseasonal optical time series is still challenging. Highly contrasted results are reported from one study to another suggesting that drivers of classification errors are still under-explored. We evaluated the performances of single-year Formosat-2 time series to discriminate tree species in temperate forests in France and investigated how predictions vary statistically and spatially across multiple years. Our objective was to better estimate the impact of spatial autocorrelation in the validation data on measurement accuracy and to understand which drivers in the time series are responsible for classification errors. The experiments were based on ten Formosat-2 image time series irregularly acquired during the seasonal vegetation cycle from 2006 to 2014. Due to lot of clouds in the year 2006, an alternative 2006 time series using only cloud-free images has been added. Thirteen tree species were classified in each single-year dataset based on the SVM algorithm. The performances were assessed using a spatial leave-one-out cross validation (SLOO-CV) strategy, thereby guaranteeing full independence of the validation samples, and compared with standard non-spatial leave-one-out cross-validation (LOO-CV). The results show relatively close statistical performances from one year to the next despite the differences between the annual time series. Good agreements between years were observed in monospecific tree plantations of broadleaf species versus high disparity in other forests composed of different species. A strong positive bias in the accuracy assessment (up to 0.4 of Overall Accuracy) was also found when spatial dependence in the validation data was not removed. Using the SLOO-CV approach, the average OA values per year ranged from 0.48 for 2006 to 0.60 for 2013, which satisfactorily represents the spatial instability of species prediction between years.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0337.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Information Systems Keywords: Web API; SPARQL; micro-service; Data Integration; Linked Data; REST; Biodiversity
Online: 14 November 2018 (10:59:31 CET)
In recent years, Web APIs have become a de facto standard for exchanging machine-readable data on the Web. Despite this success though, they often fail in making resource descriptions interoperable due to the fact that they rely on proprietary vocabularies that lack formal semantics. The Linked Data principles similarly seek the massive publication of data on the Web, yet with the specific goal of ensuring semantic interoperability. Given their complementary goals, it is commonly admitted that cross-fertilization could stem from the automatic combination of Linked Data and Web APIs. Towards this goal, in this paper we leverage the micro-service architectural principles to define a SPARQL Micro-Service architecture, aimed at querying Web APIs using SPARQL. A SPARQL micro-service is a lightweight SPARQL endpoint that provides access to a small, resource-centric, virtual graph. In this context, we argue that full SPARQL Query expressiveness can be supported efficiently without jeopardizing servers availability. Furthermore, we demonstrate how this architecture can be used to dynamically assign dereferenceable URIs to Web API resources that do not have URIs beforehand, thus literally ``bringing'' Web APIs into the Web of Data. We believe that the emergence of an ecosystem of SPARQL micro-services published by independent providers would enable Linked Data-based applications to easily glean pieces of data from a wealth of distributed, scalable and reliable services. We describe a working prototype implementation and we finally illustrate the use of SPARQL micro-services in the context of two real-life use cases related to the biodiversity domain, developed in collaboration with the French National Museum of Natural History.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0094.v3
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Agroforestry; ecosystem services; measurable criteria; certification standard; biodiversity; agroecosystem; regenerative agriculture
Online: 12 September 2018 (13:56:22 CEST)
Agroforestry is increasingly being recognized as a holistic food production system that can have numerous significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. This growing recognition is paralleled in the U.S. by the budding interest in regenerative agriculture and motivation to certify regenerative practices. Current efforts to develop a regenerative agriculture certification offer an opportunity to consider agroforestry’s role in furthering regenerative goals. To understand this opportunity, we first examine how agroforestry practices can advance regenerative agriculture’s five core environmental concerns: soil fertility and health, water quality, biodiversity, ecosystem health, and carbon sequestration. Next, we review a subset of certification programs, standards, guidelines, and associated scientific literature to understand existing efforts to standardize agroforestry. We determine that development of an agroforestry standard alongside current efforts to certify regenerative agriculture offers an opportunity to leverage common goals and strengths of each. Additionally, we determine that there is a lack of standards with measurable criteria available for agroforestry, particularly in temperate locations. Lastly, we propose a framework and general, measurable criteria for an agroforestry standard that could potentially be implemented as a standalone standard or built into existing agriculture, forestry, or resource conservation certification programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0186.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: biodiversity; connectivity; ecological integrity; Mountain Treasures; protected areas; Southern Appalachian Mountains
Online: 29 May 2017 (10:58:00 CEST)
Conservation scientists recognize that additional protected areas are needed to maintain biological diversity and ecological processes. As regional conservation planners embark on recommending additional areas for protection in formal conservation reserves, it is important to evaluate candidate lands for their role in building a resilient protected areas system of the future. Here, we evaluate North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures with respect to their (i) ecological integrity, (ii) role in connecting existing core protected areas, (iii) potential to diversify the ecosystem representation of reserves, and (iv) role in maintaining hotspots of biologically-rich areas not well protected. Mountain Treasures represent a citizen inventory of roadless areas and serve as candidates for elevated levels of conservation protection on U.S. federal lands. We compared Mountain Treasures to other candidate lands throughout the country to evaluate their potential national significance. While the Mountain Treasures tended to be more impacted by human modifications than other roadless areas, they are as important as other roadless areas with respect to their role in connecting existing protected areas and diversifying representation of ecosystems in conservation reserves. However, Mountain Treasures tended to have a much higher biodiversity priority index than other roadless areas leading to an overall higher composite score compared to other roadless areas. Our analysis serves as an example of how using broad-scale datasets can help conservation planners assess the national significance of local areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1811.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: sustainability; social-ecological system; natural capital; ecosystem services; biodiversity agent-based model
Online: 29 November 2023 (02:11:36 CET)
At the Rio Conference in 1992, the sustainable development agenda promised a new era for natural resource management, where the well-being of human society would be enhanced through the sustainable use of natural capital. Several decades on, economic growth continues unabated at the expense of natural capital, as evidenced by biodiversity loss, climate change and further environmental issues. Why is this happening and what can be done about it? In this research, we present three Agent-Based Models that explore the social, economic and governance factors driving (un)sustainability in complex social-ecological systems. Our modelling results reinforce the idea that the current economic system does not protect the natural capital on which it depends. This is due to a disjunction between the economic and environmental elements upon which the sustainable development paradigm is founded. Additionally, various factors appear to enhance social-ecological system unsustainability: the role of financial entities and monetary debt; economic speculation; technological development and efficiency; lack of long-term views and late government interventions; inefficient tipping point management; and the absence of strong top-down and bottom-up conservation forces. Interestingly, alternative scenarios showed that these same factors could be redirected to enhance sustainable development. The current economic system may, therefore, not be inherently unsustainable, but rather specific economic mechanisms, agents’ decision-making, and the kinds of links between economic and natural systems could be at the root of the problem. We argue that short- and medium-term sustainability can be enhanced by implementing mechanisms that shift capitalist forces to support environmental conservation. Long-term sustainability, however, requires further paradigm change: where the economy integrates, and fully accounts for, externalities and recognises the actual value of natural capital.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1291.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: bioelectricity; bioenergy; biodiversity offsets; ecosysten maintenance; future energy; green energy; lifecycle assessment
Online: 20 September 2023 (02:44:04 CEST)
The IPCC’s sixth assessment report projects 15% to 43% (44 EJ/y – 310 EJ/y) of global primary energy to be generated by biomass in 2050 across multiple GHG mitigation scenarios. That report also emphasises the importance of electrification to meet GHG reduction targets. With increased reliance on electric power, and increased appeal to biomass, bioenergy for electricity is expected to play a major role in future energy markets. What makes the bioenergy solution more attractive is its reported reasonable Energy Return on Investment (EROI). However, generation at large scale is projected to be greatly dependent on crops and plantations. This shifts the GHG emissions concern to be concerns over land use and other emissions integrated in the bioenergy lifecycle. It is therefore vital to know whether the potential of electricity generation from biomass outweighs environmental impact of bioenergy. This paper evaluates the potential of biomass electricity mainly generated from short rotation woody crops combustion in generating green energy. This is done using the “Green EROI (EROIg)” quantification methodology, which indicates the net energy generated to society after investing in ecosystem maintenance energy (ESME). ESME is a non-monetary weighting mechanism of an entity’s different lifecycle environmental impacts. This study found that the EROIg of bioelectricity is marginally larger than unity when converted to its primary equivalent form (EROIg-PE) which indicates that the technology is somewhat energetically viable if its production was to be green. Three design options were proposed to improve bioenergy’s EROIg performance, these include adding 20% waste wood in the combustion mix, staggered harvesting and plantation to achieve annual harvest and pelletizing wood. This approach appeared to improve the EROIg especially for pelletizing, due to its simultaneous reduction in storage and transport costs, making the production energetically and environmentally viable even at a 1 : 1 secondary : primary ratio with an EROIg of 1.11 and an EROIg-PE of 3.17. We conclude with the discussion of the multiple indirect advantages of growing crops that can be used for energy generation, and a discussion on how this technique can be used alongside others to help them generate cleaner energy while facing the current global climate, biodiversity and waste issues.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0157.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: Biodiversity; Representations; school program; primary school; secondary school; Education for sustainable development.
Online: 5 September 2023 (02:19:03 CEST)
The preservation of biodiversity has become a major concern in contemporary society. It is essential to understand teachers' representations of biodiversity to effectively guide educational efforts because of the significant role of education in raising awareness and promoting sustainable behavior. Through a survey of a sample of 118 teachers, we adopted a mixed-method approach combining both a closed questionnaire and interviews. We used these methods to explore teachers' representations of the concept of biodiversity as an integral part of the school curriculum, as well as to gather their views on certain features of its teaching. The results state that the majority of teachers perceive biodiversity as a whole and in its most complex relationships. During their professional experience, they have developed a biocentric and anthropocentric conception of biodiversity. This study provides valuable information to guide future pedagogical practices and educational policies in sustainable education.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0277.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: sustainability; water recycling; grey water reuse; soil biodiversity; climate change; water scarcity
Online: 16 February 2023 (07:37:06 CET)
Fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource in both urban and rural developments. As a response to this challenge, non-potable water reuse is on the rise. This research explored a potential off-grid system for water purification, consisting of a staircase wetland with terracotta pot plants working as a filter for greywater. The study further investigated the physicochemical properties of the greywater and the soil before and after the wetland purification. Results showed that the filtered water satisfied all requirements for water reuse, e.g., pH, turbidity, and total coliforms. The research then uniquely investigated the effect of greywater on the soil biodiversity and soil biomass using soil DNA extraction and the tea bag index testing method. The filtered greywater absorbed by soil decomposed the soil faster and stabilized it better compared to tap water-absorbed soil or unfiltered greywater. The DNA generation sequencing revealed no significant differences in alpha diversity between control and treatment samples. The beta diversity differences were significant. This nature-based solution can lead to reduced load on the sewage system, resulting in less wastewater generation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0485.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Biodiversity Conservation; Carbon Storage & Sequestration; Climate Change; Kainji National Park; Protected Areas.
Online: 30 December 2021 (12:37:39 CET)
Due to rising global warming and climate change, biodiversity protection has become a critical ecological concern. The rich biodiversity zones are under threat and are deteriorating, necessitating national, regional, and provincial efforts to safeguard these natural areas. The effective conservation of National Parks and Nature-protected Areas helps to improve biodiversity conservations, forest, and urban air quality. The continuous encroachment and abuse of these protected areas have degraded the ecosystem over time. While exploring the geophysical ecology and biodiversity conservation of these areas in West Africa, Kainji National Park was selected for this study because of its notable location, naturalness, rich habitat diversity, topographic uniqueness, and landmass. The conservation of national parks and nature-protected areas is a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation globally. This study is aimed at the target of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13, 2030- Climate Action, targeted at taking urgent action towards combating climate change and its impacts. The study captures both flora and fauna that are dominant in the study area. The 15 identified trees were randomly sampled within a stratum of 10x10km shared into 24 plots for proper analyses using i-Tree Eco v6.0.23 software. The following data were captured and analyzed; Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Rain/Precipitation, Temperature, Transpiration, Evaporation, Water Intercepted by trees, Avoided Runoff by trees, Potential Evaporation by trees, Isoprene and Monoterpene by trees. This study also further discusses the tree benefits of green, low carbon, and sustainable environment within the context of biodiversity conservation considering carbon storage, carbon sequestration, hydrology effects, pollution removal, oxygen production, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There is a quick need for remotely-sensed information of the protected areas at regular intervals and government policies must be strict against illegal poaching and logging activities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0550.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Adaptation; Biodiversity; Climate Change; Conservation Planning; Land use; Netowrks; Optimization; Protected areas
Online: 29 November 2021 (15:44:44 CET)
Current species’ range displacements are mostly triggered by climate change but European landscapes are largely dominated by human activities. In this study we identify the most promising spatial adaptive trajectories (SATs) for the thirty most threatened non volant mammal species in Europe up to 2080 (under three climate and land change scenarios) and where/when SATs of each species synchronically converge. We found large contrasts on the persistence of species in SATs, with some species largely reliant on the functionality of areas where many SATs converge. Overall, SATs and convergence centers are not adequately covered by existing conservation areas and coincide with crop and arable lands, compromising species persistence. It is important to invest in the protection of SATs and convergence centers through a mix of conventional instruments and new collaborative forms with the socio-economy. Anticipative plans at long-term coupled with risk analysis offer decision–makers templates to prevent negative surprises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0033.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Africa; biodiversity infrastructure; Clupeidae; Clupeiformes; Dactylogyridea; flatworm; historical collection; Monogenea; Pellonulini; sardine
Online: 2 November 2021 (10:28:05 CET)
Unlike their marine counterparts, tropical freshwater clupeids receive little scientific attention. However, they sustain important fisheries that may be of (inter)national commercial interest. Africa harbours over 20 freshwater clupeid species within Pellonulini. Recent research suggests their most abundant parasites are gill-infecting monogenean flatworms within Kapentagyrus. After inspecting specimens of 12 freshwater clupeids from West and Central Africa, mainly sourced in biodiversity collections, we propose 11 new species of Kapentagyrus which we describe using their haptoral and genital morphology. Because of their high morphological similarity, species delineation relies mostly on morphometrics of anchors and hooks. Specifically, earlier, molecular taxonomic work indicated that the proportion between the length of the anchor roots, and between hook and anchor length, are diagnostic. On average, about one species of Kapentagyrus exists per pellonuline species, although Pellonula leonensis harbours four species and Microthrissa congica two, while Microthrissa moeruensis and Potamothrissa acutirostris share a gill monogenean species. This study more than quadruples the number of known species of Kapentagyrus, also almost quadrupling the number of pellonuline species of which monogeneans are known. Since members of Kapentagyrus are informative about their hosts’ ecology, evolutionary history, and introduction routes, this enables a parasitological perspective on several data-poor African fisheries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0065.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: agroecology; biodiversity; ecosystem services; post-normal science; socio-ecological systems; sustainability; stakeholders
Online: 6 May 2019 (12:28:18 CEST)
Sustainable agriculture is essential to provide food security for a growing world population without further sacrificing the integrity of the environment. To make progress towards agricultural sustainability we must consider ecological and socioeconomic processes within the agricultural socio-ecosystem and involve stakeholders in the research process. We propose an innovative experimental approach for examining how natural regulation of ecosystems may provide an alternative to increasing external inputs in agriculture while improving the socio-economic welfare of farmers. These “social-ecological experiments” go further to participatory action research by not only involving stakeholders in the research process but also by manipulating simultaneously socioeconomic and ecological processes under real field conditions to give a faster route to sustainability. Social-ecological experiments are undertaken in real field conditions, explicitly involving stakeholders, and help untangle the drivers of social-ecological dynamics under various land management and farming practices. Social-ecological experiments are distinct from adaptive management and scenario-planning approaches as they highlight the interactions between ecological and social processes, manipulate the social and ecological processes shaping the system and show causal links between patterns and processes. As an example, we describe a social-ecological experiment for reducing herbicide use. Social-ecological experiments offer great opportunities for increasing stakeholders’ acceptance of environmental policies implemented through adaptive management. These experiments may help to identify management practices that optimize multiple objectives, deliver a portfolio of ecosystem services and satisfy key stakeholders.