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Posts Tagged: biodiversity

Protected areas needed across climates to safeguard biodiversity

Fjordland National Park in New Zealand. Some protected area networks, such as in New Zealand, are projected to capture more of the current climate than others in the future as climate warms. Photo by Paul Elsen

Around the world, countries have established protected areas as the primary defense to reduce widespread biodiversity loss and guard vulnerable habitats. However, species and ecosystems are adapted to particular climates—as those climates shift across and outside of protected area boundaries, species may track them into unprotected landscapes where human land uses degrade conservation potential. 

In a new study published in Science Advances  today, Berkeley researchers offer a broad analysis of how protected areas will continue to capture the climates suitable for species into the future. The study was led by Paul Elsen, a climate adaptation scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and former postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and it was co-authored with Cooperative Extension specialist Adina Merenlender, recent Ph.D. graduate Eric Dougherty, and Bill Monahan, currently with the U.S. Forest Service. 

The authors first determined how climate is expected to change within all terrestrial protected areas globally by utilizing data from several major global climate models and maps of protected areas. They found that over the next 50 to 80 years, the total amount of protected land situated in both warm and cold climates, over a wide range of annual precipitations, is expected to decline significantly.

“We calculate that most countries will fail to protect over 90% of their available climate at current levels, forcing many species to shift into unprotected lands,” says Merenlender.

Species or ecosystems adapted to specific climatic conditions would disproportionately be impacted, such as those in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, boreal forests, tundra, savannas, grasslands and shrublands.

The authors then tested how different mitigation and adaptation strategies might work to limit the amount of change species may experience in protected areas within countries, thereby reducing species' vulnerability. For example, they investigated whether greenhouse gas mitigation or the addition of new protected areas were more effective for building resilience to climate change. 

“Protected areas are invaluable to conserving biodiversity, but where those protected areas are positioned in relation to available climates can have a huge influence on their ability to reduce species' vulnerability to climate change,” says Elsen.

In Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, biodiversity is less likely to find the same suitable climates in protected areas in the future as the climate changes. Photo by Paul Elsen

If countries were to expand protected areas to double the diversity of climates under protection, the authors find, they would retain 118% more land area of today's protected climates into the future. By contrast, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with global targets would increase retention of currently protected climates by 102%.  

“If we adopt a strategy for increasing protection that seeks to maximize the diversity of climate types represented within protected areas—for example, cold, warm, hot, wet, temperate, arid, etc.—we stand a much better chance that protected areas will continue to encompass the climatic conditions that support currently protected biodiversity,” says Elsen, lead author of the study.

The authors were surprised to find that simply establishing more protected areas wasn't the solution to building resilience. “Whether it's ‘half-earth' or a more modest target, we need more protected areas but they must be climate smart,” says Merenlender. “This means protecting a full range of climate types, or parks will not protect biodiversity as intended into the future.”

The long-term conservation potential of protected areas depends on careful maintenance of appropriate biotic and abiotic conditions that promote biodiversity. The authors stress that decisions about land use, which are socio-economic in nature, need to also account for conservation and ecosystem health. “Species that track climate into unprotected landscapes may face landscapes that are highly modified by agriculture, infrastructure, development, and other human activities, so it is still critical that we work to increase the suitability of unprotected lands for biodiversity, too,” says Elsen.

The study includes recommendations for planning for future reserves that stand to better protect biodiversity and will be more resilient to climate change over the long term.

Read the study on the Science Advances website.

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 8:34 PM
  • Author: Jacob Shea, jacob_shea@berkeley.edu
Focus Area Tags: Environment

Ivana Li: 'The Miracle Worker'

UC Davis biology lab manager Ivana Li discusses ocean life at the 2019 UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You could call Ivana Li "the miracle worker." You could call Ivana Li "entomologist, biology lab manager, artist and chef...

UC Davis biology lab manager Ivana Li discusses ocean life at the 2019 UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis biology lab manager Ivana Li discusses ocean life at the 2019 UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

UC Davis biology lab manager Ivana Li discusses ocean life at the 2019 UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ivana Li excels as a chef--as she does as a scientist and artist. (Photo by. Deirdre Li)
Ivana Li excels as a chef--as she does as a scientist and artist. (Photo by. Deirdre Li)

Ivana Li excels as a chef--as she does as a scientist and artist. (Photo by. Deirdre Li)

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 5:08 PM
Focus Area Tags: Economic Development, Environment, Health, Innovation

Yes, You Can Attend the 'Saving a Bug's Life' Symposium

A flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, perches on a stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Yes, you can. If you've been wondering if there's still room for you at the innovative UC Davis symposium on "Saving a Bug's Life: Legal...

A flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, perches on a stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, perches on a stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, perches on a stake in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A longhorned bee, Melissodes sp., in Davis, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A longhorned bee, Melissodes sp., in Davis, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A longhorned bee, Melissodes sp., in Davis, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, nectaring on a butterfly bush in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, nectaring on a butterfly bush in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, nectaring on a butterfly bush in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, spiked floral purple plant, nectaring on a Salvia indigo spires (Salvia farinacea x S. farinacea) in Sonoma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, spiked floral purple plant, nectaring on a Salvia indigo spires (Salvia farinacea x S. farinacea) in Sonoma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, spiked floral purple plant, nectaring on a Salvia indigo spires (Salvia farinacea x S. farinacea) in Sonoma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 5:29 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day and the Fascinating World of Nematodes

Nematologists Christopher Pagan (foreground) and Corwin Parker, doctoral students in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answer questions from the crowd at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Do you know what a nematode is? If you're a gardener, you're aware that nematodes are "microscopic, eel-like roundworms" and that "most troublesome...

Nematologists Christopher Pagan (foreground) and Corwin Parker, doctoral students in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answer questions from the crowd at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Nematologists Christopher Pagan (foreground) and Corwin Parker, doctoral students in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answer questions from the crowd at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Nematologists Christopher Pagan (foreground) and Corwin Parker, doctoral students in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answer questions from the crowd at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Nematologist Corwin Parker, doctoral student, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answers a question about nematode parasites. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Nematologist Corwin Parker, doctoral student, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answers a question about nematode parasites. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Nematologist Corwin Parker, doctoral student, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, answers a question about nematode parasites. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 2:26 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Food, Health, Innovation, Natural Resources, Pest Management, Yard & Garden

Bee-ing There at UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day

A six-foot-long worker bee, the work of self-described

The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven drew scores of families at the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day,  a science-based day always held the...

A six-foot-long worker bee, the work of self-described
A six-foot-long worker bee, the work of self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of Davis, anchors the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A six-foot-long worker bee, the work of self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of Davis, anchors the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Youngsters checked out the display of bee specimens, which ranged from honey bees to carpenter bees to sweat bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Youngsters checked out the display of bee specimens, which ranged from honey bees to carpenter bees to sweat bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Youngsters checked out the display of bee specimens, which ranged from honey bees to carpenter bees to sweat bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A couple reads the information on a sign displayed in the haven.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A couple reads the information on a sign displayed in the haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A couple reads the information on a sign displayed in the haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An informative sign in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An informative sign in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An informative sign in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Youngsters scooped up honey bees using a catch-and-release bee vacuum. The late native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) initially used the device to catch, identify and monitor bees and showed youngsters how to participate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Youngsters scooped up honey bees using a catch-and-release bee vacuum. The late native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) initially used the device to catch, identify and monitor bees and showed youngsters how to participate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Youngsters scooped up honey bees using a catch-and-release bee vacuum. The late native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) initially used the device to catch, identify and monitor bees and showed youngsters how to participate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This youngster pondered his catch in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This youngster pondered his catch in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This youngster pondered his catch in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteers at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven await visitors during the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Volunteers at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven await visitors during the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteers at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven await visitors during the UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Benches, donated by the California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (under the leadership of then State Regent Debra Jamison of Fresno), are a good spot to relax, enjoy the garden, and check your email. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Benches, donated by the California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (under the leadership of then State Regent Debra Jamison of Fresno), are a good spot to relax, enjoy the garden, and check your email. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Benches, donated by the California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (under the leadership of then State Regent Debra Jamison of Fresno), are a good spot to relax, enjoy the garden, and check your email. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Economic Development, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

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