Browsing All Posts filed under »biodiversity«

Restoration and invertebrates: Build it and at least some of them will come

September 25, 2017

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It’s commonly assumed that the biodiversity of a disturbed ecosystem can be improved by restoring its original physical and chemical conditions. According to this “Field of Dreams” view (“build it and they will come”), ecosystem recovery occurs through the recolonization activities of lost species.  While a lot of river restoration is founded on Field of […]

Restoration and invertebrates: Reappraising stream condition indicators

September 25, 2017

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In degraded rivers and stream systems, the replanting of riparian vegetation is a common restoration activity, partly because increases in shading, nutrient interception and litter fall are expected to provide food and habitat benefits for aquatic communities. Changed habitat conditions should be reflected in indices of stream condition, such as those based on macroinvertebrate richness. […]

Freshwater protected areas: time to get serious

September 25, 2017

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Increasingly, the declaration of freshwater protected areas is being promoted as a way of helping to stem the continuing decline in global freshwater biodiversity. While calls for freshwater protected areas have been met with limited interest in the past, this situation is changing as the philosophy of conservation evolves.    Since the 1960s, conservation has passed […]

Stocking up on threatened amphibians

March 27, 2017

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Zoos have an important role to play in helping to conserve globally threatened species and building public awareness of biodiversity issues. Following massive declines in recent decades, amphibians are now one of the most vulnerable animal groups, with over 40% of all amphibian species classified as threatened. Despite this collapse, relatively few threatened amphibians are […]

Floating times of riparian seeds

March 27, 2017

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Given the important role that the transport of water-borne seeds plays in the long-distance dispersal of riparian plants, surprisingly little is known about this process.   In laboratory experiments, a team of Australian and Chinese scientists measured the floating times of seeds collected from sixty species of Australian riparian plant species. Most species reached the test […]

Tree cover makes for lower fish diversity

March 27, 2017

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A pervasive feature of lowland streams, especially in areas where land has been cleared for agriculture or urban development, is a decrease in forested cover from the headwaters to the mouth. The presence or absence of streamside tree cover has a profound influence on stream ecology. Streams running through undisturbed forests typically contain large woody […]

Factoring history into threat assessments

December 13, 2016

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Genetic variation allows populations to adapt to environmental changes, and it’s often the case that threatened species exhibit low genetic diversity. Human-produced habitat fragmentation is a well-recognised cause of genetic bottlenecks, but the additional effects of larger-scale biogeographic factors are rarely considered. As an example of such biogeographic impacts, populations that have managed to survive […]