Fred Short, UNH research professor of natural resources and director of the worldwide program SeagrassNet, was among the 174 scientists who contributed to “The Impact of Conservation on the Status of the World’s Vertebrates,” released online this week in the journal Science.
“Some areas, including New Hampshire, are experiencing serious loss of seagrass distribution,” says Short, “but that is different than experiencing loss of a given species, which is what the Red List process evaluates.”
The survey focused primarily on vertebrate species, finding that 20 percent of the vertebrates reviewed are classified as “threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and an average of 52 species of mammals, birds and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. In addition, the article included three plant groups.
“Inclusion of these plant groups -- seagrasses, cycads and conifers – gives a context for what’s happening with vertebrates by looking at other organismal distribution,” says Short. “Plant species provide habitat and food for vertebrates.”
Short, who is the IUCN Red List Authority focal point for seagrasses, led a three-year assessment of the world’s seagrass species for conservation status. He notes that 14 percent of seagrass species are in threatened categories based on the Red List. “We’re polluting our oceans and coastal areas tremendously,” he says. “We are most certainly losing seagrass distribution, and at present 10 of the world’s 72 seagrass species are threatened. The trends are not encouraging.”
The Science paper, whose lead author is Michael Hoffman of the IUCN, emphasizes that its concerning findings should not obscure the impact of conservation efforts, without which species losses would have been 20 percent higher. “Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, over-exploitation, and invasive alien species,” the authors write.
Short adds that the same drivers affecting vertebrates, along with coastal development, are also threatening seagrasses in the coastal oceans.
For an abstract of the Science paper, go to http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1194442. To learn more about SeagrassNet, go to www.seagrassnet.org. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is at http://www.iucnredlist.org/.The seagrass species assessment was funded by Tom Haas through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.Photographs available to download:
Beth Potier | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy