Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Biodiversity

Achieving global biodiversity goals by 2050 requires urgent and integrated actions

Paul Leadley, Andrew Gonzalez, Cornelia Krug, et al.

Published: 2022-02-24
Subjects: Agriculture, Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Sciences, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Plant Sciences

Human impacts on the Earth’s biosphere are driving the global biodiversity crisis. Governments are preparing to agree on a set of actions intended to halt the loss of biodiversity and put it on a path to recovery by 2050. We provide evidence that the proposed actions can bend the curve for biodiversity, but only if these actions are implemented urgently and in an integrated manner.

Drivers of community assembly change during succession in wood-decomposing insect communities

Sebastian Seibold, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Didem Ambarli, et al.

Published: 2022-02-18
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biology, Entomology, Life Sciences

1. The patterns of successional change of decomposer communities is unique in that resource availability predictably decreases as decomposition proceeds. Saproxylic (i.e., deadwood-dependent) beetles are a highly diverse and functionally important decomposer group, and their community composition is affected by both deadwood characteristics and other environmental factors. Understanding how [...]

Graph embedding and transfer learning can help predict potential species interaction networks despite data limitations

Tanya Strydom, Salomé Bouskila, Francis Banville, et al.

Published: 2022-02-18
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

Metawebs (networks of potential interactions within a species pool) are a powerful abstraction to understand how large-scale species interaction networks are structured. Because metawebs are typically expressed at large spatial and taxonomic scales, assembling them is a tedious and costly process; predictive methods can help circumvent the limitations in data deficiencies, by providing a first [...]

Past and future uses of text mining in ecology & evolution

Maxwell Jenner Farrell, Liam Brierley, Anna Willoughby, et al.

Published: 2022-02-16
Subjects: Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Ecology and evolutionary biology, like other scientific fields, are experiencing an exponential growth of academic manuscripts. As domain knowledge accumulates, scientists will need new computational approaches for identifying relevant literature to read and include in formal literature reviews and meta-analyses. Importantly, these approaches can also facilitate automated, large-scale data [...]

Integrated distribution modelling to estimate the national population size of an alpine bird

Diana Bowler, Erlend Birkeland Nilsen

Published: 2022-02-07
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

1) Estimates of species’ population abundances have important ramifications for conservation decision-making. Conservation practice, however, often has to rely on indices of relative abundance rather than absolute estimates. Attempts to estimate large-scale abundance estimates of species are limited by both the availability of data and statistical challenges. New opportunities are, however, [...]

A set of principles and practical suggestions for equitable fieldwork in biology

Valeria Ramírez-Castañeda, Erin P. Westeen, Jeffrey Frederick, et al.

Published: 2022-02-04
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Forest Sciences, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Plant Sciences

Field biology is an area of research that involves working directly with living organisms in situ through a practice known as “fieldwork.” Conducting fieldwork often requires complex logistical planning within multiregional or multinational teams, interacting with local communities at field sites, and collaborative research led by one or a few of the core team members. However, existing power [...]

Do conservation designations provide positive benefits for bird species and communities?

Ailidh Barnes, Jacob Davies, Blaise Martay, et al.

Published: 2022-02-02
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

There have been recent renewed commitments to increase the extent of protected areas to combat the growing biodiversity crisis, but yet the underpinning evidence for their effectiveness is mixed with causal connections rarely evaluated. We use data gathered by four large-scale citizen science programmes in the UK to provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of whether national (SSSI) and [...]

The role of non-English-language science in informing national biodiversity assessments

Tatsuya Amano, Violeta Berdejo-Espinola, Munemitsu Akasaka, et al.

Published: 2022-01-20
Subjects: Biodiversity, Communication, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Library and Information Science, Life Sciences, Publishing, Scholarly Publishing, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Consulting the best available evidence is key to successful conservation decision-making. While much scientific evidence on conservation continues to be published in non-English languages, a poor understanding of how non-English languages science contributes to conservation decision-making is causing global assessments and studies to practically ignore non-English-language literature. By [...]

Microclimate shifts in nest-boxes and natural cavities before, during and after nesting

Joanna Sudyka, Irene Di Lecce, Marta Szulkin

Published: 2022-01-17
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Physiology, Population Biology

Animals breeding in anthropogenic shelters such as nest-boxes experience nesting environment in which they did not originally evolve. Over the past decades, they are additionally challenged by climate change – a major environmental force influencing their reproductive ecology. Despite the central importance of nesting microclimate for offspring development and fitness, very little is known about [...]

Flower strips increase the control of rosy apple aphids after parasitoid releases in an apple orchard

Kévin Tougeron, Louise Ferrais, Pauline Gardin, et al.

Published: 2022-01-14
Subjects: Agricultural Economics, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Horticulture, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Mass releases of two parasitoid species, Aphidius matricariae and Ephedrus cerasicola, may provide an alternative measure to pesticides to control the rosy apple aphid Dysaphis plantaginea in organic apple orchards. As a proof of concept study, we tested if the presence of flower strips between apple tree rows could improve the action of three early parasitoid releases—and of other naturally [...]

Guidelines for the prediction of species interactions through binary classification

Timothée Poisot

Published: 2022-01-10
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

1. The prediction of species interactions is gaining momentum as a way to circumvent limitations in data volume. Yet, ecological networks are challenging to predict because they are typically small and sparse. Dealing with extreme class imbalance is a challenge for most binary classifiers, and there are currently no guidelines as to how predictive models can be trained for this specific [...]

Vulnerable, but still poorly known, marine ecosystems: how to make distribution models more relevant and impactful for conservation and management of VMEs?

Charley Gros, Jan Jansen, Piers Dunstan, et al.

Published: 2022-01-05
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

Human activity puts our oceans under multiple stresses, whose impacts are already significantly affecting biodiversity and physicochemical properties. Consequently, there is an increased international focus on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, including the protection of fragile benthic biodiversity hotspots in the deep sea, identified as vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). [...]

Idea paper: Monitoring and databasing non-native species to manage establishment debt in aquatic ecosystems

Takumi Saito

Published: 2022-01-05
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

In the era of globalization, biological invasions are one of the most serious social issues. Thus, managing its impact is an urgent task. It is essential to control non-native species before they become established. However, it is insufficient to address establishment debt, which occurs when a non-native species has been introduced into an area but has not yet been established in the wild. In [...]

Reconciliation of evidence for the Portulacineae “backbone” phylogeny

Mark Alan Hershkovitz

Published: 2021-12-14
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

Portulacineae comprise a clade of eight ostensibly monophyletic families, four of which (Anacampserotaceae, Montiaceae, Portulacaceae s. str., and Talinaceae) and part of a fifth (Didiereaceae) had been classified traditionally in Portulacaceae s. lato. The clade also includes Basellaceae, Cactaceae, and Halophytaceae. While available evidence strongly supports recognition of major clades within [...]

Global birdwatching data reveal uneven consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Huijie Qiao, Michael Orr, Qinmin Yang, et al.

Published: 2021-12-09
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

Birdwatching is a global phenomenon involving many thousands of people. Citizen science generates data providing insights into global patterns of bird distribution across space and time, yet how the pandemic may cast a longer shadow remains unassessed. Here, we explore whether pandemic restrictions influenced observations globally from 2020-May 2021, considering also GDPc and tourism income. We [...]

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