Nature is on the move. As the impacts of climate change reveal themselves, species and ecosystems are moving in response. This poses a fundamental challenge to conservation organizations—how do you conserve something that won't stay still?
A new paper authored by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor suggests that in order to cope, conservation organizations need to adapt like the organisms they seek to protect.
The paper, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, argues that conservation organizations need to be bolder in their adaptation efforts given the rate and extent of the ecological changes that are coming. The article can be found at http://bit.ly/1B7rclb
As the climate warms and other global changes progress, species move outside their historical ranges, new ecological communities form and ecosystems transition to new states. Moreover, scientists are predicting that these changes will accelerate in the future.
"If you are an organization that has focused on conserving particular species in a particular place, as many of today's conservation organizations are, then something has to give—either you need to change your business model or revisit your conservation priorities. And neither is going to be easy for some of these groups," said Paul Armsworth, lead author and associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
The paper puts forward a number of new ideas for how conservation organizations might address the challenges they are facing. It also highlights stories of success.
For example, Scenic Hudson, an environmental and land conservation group in New York State, has updated the way it prioritizes parts of the landscape for protection to better incorporate a changing climate, especially the impacts of sea-level rise. To get out ahead of the issue, in 2008 the group hired an experienced conservation biologist, created a detailed plan for shifting its land conservation along the Hudson River and developed resources to help local communities along the waterway adapt to rising sea levels.
"Previously, we focused on conserving places that harbor the most important habitats and species today," said Sacha Spector, Scenic Hudson's director of conservation science.
"But then we looked at the projections for sea-level rise in our region. Continuing with business as usual would have left us quite literally under water. Now when prioritizing sites for protection, we also look to acquire areas upslope to open up the possibility for the habitats we are targeting to migrate as the climate changes."
Spector said the paper's suggestions were right on target.
"What the authors are saying certainly resonates with our experiences here in the Hudson Valley," he said. "For example, the authors appeal for conservation organizations to start evaluating over what time period their investments in habitat protection are likely to provide conservation benefits.
We must recognize that if you are in for the long term—as most conservation organizations expect to be—you are going to have to ensure that the investments you make today align with the conditions you expect for the future. This matches very closely with our new approach to protecting the Hudson's tidal habitats."
The paper was produced by a team of authors from universities, conservation nonprofits and relevant federal agencies.
Amy Blakely | newswise
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences