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Julia G Mason, Murray A Rudd, Larry B Crowder
Understanding and solving complex ocean conservation problems requires cooperation not just among scientific disciplines but also across sectors. A recently published survey that probed research priorities of marine scientists, when provided to ocean stakeholders, revealed some agreement on priorities but also illuminated key differences. Ocean acidification, cumulative impacts, bycatch effects, and restoration effectiveness were in the top 10 priorities for scientists and stakeholder groups. Significant priority differences were that scientists favored research questions about ocean acidification and marine protected areas; policymakers prioritized questions about habitat restoration, bycatch, and precaution; and fisheries sector resource users called for the inclusion of local ecological knowledge in policymaking...
May 1, 2017: Bioscience
Glenn A Hyndes, Kenneth L Heck, Adriana Vergés, Euan S Harvey, Gary A Kendrick, Paul S Lavery, Kathryn McMahon, Robert J Orth, Alan Pearce, Mathew Vanderklift, Thomas Wernberg, Scott Whiting, Shaun Wilson
Climate-driven changes are altering production and functioning of biotic assemblages in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In temperate coastal waters, rising sea temperatures, warm water anomalies and poleward shifts in the distribution of tropical herbivores have had a detrimental effect on algal forests. We develop generalized scenarios of this form of tropicalization and its potential effects on the structure and functioning of globally significant and threatened seagrass ecosystems, through poleward shifts in tropical seagrasses and herbivores...
November 1, 2016: Bioscience
Matthias Schröter, Christian Albert, Alexandra Marques, Wolke Tobon, Sandra Lavorel, Joachim Maes, Claire Brown, Stefan Klotz, Aletta Bonn
National ecosystem assessments form an essential knowledge base for safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze eight European (sub-)national ecosystem assessments (Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Flanders, Netherlands, Finland, and Germany) and compare their objectives, political context, methods, and operationalization. We observed remarkable differences in breadth of the assessment, methods employed, variety of services considered, policy mandates, and funding mechanisms. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are mainly assessed independently, with biodiversity conceptualized as underpinning services, as a source of conflict with services, or as a service in itself...
October 1, 2016: Bioscience
William J Ripple, Guillaume Chapron, José Vicente López-Bao, Sarah M Durant, David W Macdonald, Peter A Lindsey, Elizabeth L Bennett, Robert L Beschta, Jeremy T Bruskotter, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Richard T Corlett, Chris T Darimont, Amy J Dickman, Rodolfo Dirzo, Holly T Dublin, James A Estes, Kristoffer T Everatt, Mauro Galetti, Varun R Goswami, Matt W Hayward, Simon Hedges, Michael Hoffmann, Luke T B Hunter, Graham I H Kerley, Mike Letnic, Taal Levi, Fiona Maisels, John C Morrison, Michael Paul Nelson, Thomas M Newsome, Luke Painter, Robert M Pringle, Christopher J Sandom, John Terborgh, Adrian Treves, Blaire Van Valkenburgh, John A Vucetich, Aaron J Wirsing, Arian D Wallach, Christopher Wolf, Rosie Woodroffe, Hillary Young, Li Zhang
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 1, 2016: Bioscience
Rachel K Gittman, Steven B Scyphers, Carter S Smith, Isabelle P Neylan, Jonathan H Grabowski
Protecting coastal communities has become increasingly important as their populations grow, resulting in increased demand for engineered shore protection and hardening of over 50% of many urban shorelines. Shoreline hardening is recognized to reduce ecosystem services that coastal populations rely on, but the amount of hardened coastline continues to grow in many ecologically important coastal regions. Therefore, to inform future management decisions, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing the ecosystem services of biodiversity (richness or diversity) and habitat provisioning (organism abundance) along shorelines with versus without engineered-shore structures...
September 1, 2016: Bioscience
Rudy Boonstra, Harry P Andreassen, Stan Boutin, Jan Hušek, Rolf A Ims, Charles J Krebs, Christina Skarpe, Petter Wabakken
The boreal forest is one of the largest terrestrial biomes on Earth. Conifers normally dominate the tree layer across the biome, but other aspects of ecosystem structure and dynamics vary geographically. The cause of the conspicuous differences in the understory vegetation and the herbivore-predator cycles between northwestern Europe and western North America presents an enigma. Ericaceous dwarf shrubs and 3- to 4-year vole-mustelid cycles characterize the European boreal forests, whereas tall deciduous shrubs and 10-year snowshoe hare-lynx cycles characterize the North American ones...
September 1, 2016: Bioscience
Avigdor Abelson, Benjamin S Halpern, Daniel C Reed, Robert J Orth, Gary A Kendrick, Michael W Beck, Jonathan Belmaker, Gesche Krause, Graham J Edgar, Laura Airoldi, Eran Brokovich, Robert France, Nadav Shashar, Arianne de Blaeij, Noga Stambler, Pierre Salameh, Mordechai Shechter, Peter A Nelson
Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science...
February 1, 2016: Bioscience
Jessi L Smith, Ian M Handley, Alexander V Zale, Sara Rushing, Martha A Potvin
Workforce homogeneity limits creativity, discovery, and job satisfaction; nonetheless, the vast majority of university faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are men. We conducted a randomized and controlled three-step faculty search intervention based in self-determination theory aimed at increasing the number of women faculty in STEM at one US university where increasing diversity had historically proved elusive. Results show that the numbers of women candidates considered for and offered tenure-track positions were significantly higher in the intervention groups compared with those in controls...
November 1, 2015: Bioscience
David W McCauley, Margaret F Docker, Steve Whyard, Weiming Li
Lampreys, one of the two surviving groups of ancient vertebrates, have become important models for study in diverse fields of biology. Lampreys (of which there are approximately 40 species) are being studied, for example, (a) to control pest sea lamprey in the North American Great Lakes and to restore declining populations of native species elsewhere; (b) in biomedical research, focusing particularly on the regenerative capability of lampreys; and (c) by developmental biologists studying the evolution of key vertebrate characters...
November 1, 2015: Bioscience
John F Hernandez Nopsa, Gregory J Daglish, David W Hagstrum, John F Leslie, Thomas W Phillips, Caterina Scoglio, Sara Thomas-Sharma, Gimme H Walter, Karen A Garrett
Wheat is at peak quality soon after harvest. Subsequently, diverse biota use wheat as a resource in storage, including insects and mycotoxin-producing fungi. Transportation networks for stored grain are crucial to food security and provide a model system for an analysis of the population structure, evolution, and dispersal of biota in networks. We evaluated the structure of rail networks for grain transport in the United States and Eastern Australia to identify the shortest paths for the anthropogenic dispersal of pests and mycotoxins, as well as the major sources, sinks, and bridges for movement...
October 1, 2015: Bioscience
Andrew T Nottingham, Jeanette Whitaker, Benjamin L Turner, Norma Salinas, Michael Zimmermann, Yadvinder Malhi, Patrick Meir
The temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition in tropical forests will influence future climate. Studies of a 3.5-kilometer elevation gradient in the Peruvian Andes, including short-term translocation experiments and the examination of the long-term adaptation of biota to local thermal and edaphic conditions, have revealed several factors that may regulate this sensitivity. Collectively this work suggests that, in the absence of a moisture constraint, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is regulated by the chemical composition of plant debris (litter) and both the physical and chemical composition of preexisting SOM: higher temperature sensitivities are found in litter or SOM that is more chemically complex and in SOM that is less occluded within aggregates...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Patrick Meir, Tana E Wood, David R Galbraith, Paulo M Brando, Antonio C L Da Costa, Lucy Rowland, Leandro V Ferreira
Many tropical rain forest regions are at risk of increased future drought. The net effects of drought on forest ecosystem functioning will be substantial if important ecological thresholds are passed. However, understanding and predicting these effects is challenging using observational studies alone. Field-based rainfall exclusion (canopy throughfall exclusion; TFE) experiments can offer mechanistic insight into the response to extended or severe drought and can be used to help improve model-based simulations, which are currently inadequate...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Erin L Kurten, Walter P Carson
Using a decade-long exclosure experiment in Panama, we tested the hypothesis that ground-dwelling vertebrate herbivores and seed predators are crucial determinants of tropical tree diversity and abundance within the understory. Our exclosure experiment is a community-level test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Therefore, we predicted that vertebrate exclusion would (a) increase plant densities and (b) lower richness, diversity, and evenness. Excluding vertebrates caused a 38%-46% increase in plant densities, which, in contrast to our predictions, caused species richness to increase by 12%-15%...
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Lesley Evans Ogden
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 1, 2015: Bioscience
Jennifer K Carah, Jeanette K Howard, Sally E Thompson, Anne G Short Gianotti, Scott D Bauer, Stephanie M Carlson, David N Dralle, Mourad W Gabriel, Lisa L Hulette, Brian J Johnson, Curtis A Knight, Sarah J Kupferberg, Stefanie L Martin, Rosamond L Naylor, Mary E Power
The liberalization of marijuana policies, including the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, is sweeping the United States and other countries. Marijuana cultivation can have significant negative collateral effects on the environment that are often unknown or overlooked. Focusing on the state of California, where by some estimates 60%-70% of the marijuana consumed in the United States is grown, we argue that (a) the environmental harm caused by marijuana cultivation merits a direct policy response, (b) current approaches to governing the environmental effects are inadequate, and...
August 1, 2015: Bioscience
MikoŁaj P Zaborowski, Leonora Balaj, Xandra O Breakefield, Charles P Lai
The release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, is a phenomenon shared by many cell types as a means of communicating with other cells and also potentially removing cell contents. The cargo of EVs includes the proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and membrane receptors of the cells from which they originate. EVs released into the extracellular space can enter body fluids and potentially reach distant tissues. Once taken up by neighboring and/or distal cells, EVs can transfer functional cargo that may alter the status of recipient cells, thereby contributing to both physiological and pathological processes...
August 1, 2015: Bioscience
Scott Carver, James N Mills, Cheryl A Parmenter, Robert R Parmenter, Kyle S Richardson, Rachel L Harris, Richard J Douglass, Amy J Kuenzi, Angela D Luis
Understanding the environmental drivers of zoonotic reservoir and human interactions is crucial to understanding disease risk, but these drivers are poorly predicted. We propose a mechanistic understanding of human-reservoir interactions, using hantavirus pulmonary syndrome as a case study. Crucial processes underpinning the disease's incidence remain poorly studied, including the connectivity among natural and peridomestic deer mouse host activity, virus transmission, and human exposure. We found that disease cases were greatest in arid states and declined exponentially with increasing precipitation...
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
Enrico Di Minin, Tuuli Toivonen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
Sabina Leonelli, Rachel A Ankeny
How effectively communities of scientists come together and co-operate is crucial both to the quality of research outputs and to the extent to which such outputs integrate insights, data and methods from a variety of fields, laboratories and locations around the globe. This essay focuses on the ensemble of material and social conditions that makes it possible for a short-term collaboration, set up to accomplish a specific task, to give rise to relatively stable communities of researchers. We refer to these distinctive features as repertoires, and investigate their development and implementation across three examples of collaborative research in the life sciences...
July 1, 2015: Bioscience
James C Russell, John G Innes, Philip H Brown, Andrea E Byrom
Eradications of invasive species from over 1000 small islands around the world have created conservation arks, but to truly address the threat of invasive species to islands, eradications must be scaled by orders of magnitude. New Zealand has eradicated invasive predators from 10% of its offshore island area and now proposes a vision to eliminate them from the entire country. We review current knowledge of invasive predator ecology and control technologies in New Zealand and the biological research, technological advances, social capacity and enabling policy required...
May 1, 2015: Bioscience
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