2015-04-15

Monitoring the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) framework using evaluation of effectiveness methods. The Italian case

Marino D, Marucci A, Palmieri M, Gaglioppa P. Monitoring the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) framework using evaluation of effectiveness methods. The Italian case. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2015 ;55:172 - 182. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X15001028
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Protected areas play an important role in the preservation and implementation of bold environmental agreements, among which the 20 Aichi Targets (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, COP 10), with their focus on effective management systems supporting the conservation of biodiversity and eco-system services (Aichi Biodiversity Target 11). The aim of this paper is to illustrate the MEVAP (Monitoring and EValuation of Protected Areas) methodology, Italy's contribution to the topic of evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas within the international landscape (WDPA–IUCN, World Database on Protected Areas – Union for Conservation of Nature). The purpose of MEVAP is to provide a periodical review procedure as part of the process to improve the management of protected areas. Its starting point is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data pertinent to the environmental, social and economic aspects of protected areas and to their governance.

This paper illustrates the results obtained using the MEVAP method and its application to several clusters of Italian national parks. While highlighting the potential of this method, the document also proposes an initial assessment of the environmental, social and economical performance of protected areas and how performance is connected to its governance.

Underpinning the study is the need to expand the use of evaluation practices and to spur scientific debate in the direction of widely spread adaptive management methods, with a view to optimising policies and management procedures and, therefore, achieving the protection targets that must be met by protected areas through their institutions.

Mapping ecosystem services demand: A review of current research and future perspectives

Wolff S, Schulp CJE, Verburg PH. Mapping ecosystem services demand: A review of current research and future perspectives. Ecological Indicators [Internet]. 2015 ;55:159 - 171. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X15001405
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Mapping the demand for ecosystem services (ES) has received increased attention in scientific research and is seen as a relevant tool to inform conservation planning, land use planning and management. Yet, there is a varying understanding of the concept of ES demand, which has implications on how and where ES demand is being mapped. In this paper we review the current conceptual understanding of ES demand, indicators to measure demand and the approaches used to quantify and map demand. We identified four distinct “demand types”, which relate to different ecosystem service categories. These demand types include demand expressed in terms of (1) risk reduction, (2) preferences and values, (3) direct use or (4) consumption of goods and services. Each of the demand types was linked to specific methods applied in the reviewed literature. We found that operationalization of ES demand in policy, planning and management requires a more consistent understanding and definition of ES demand, its drivers and its temporal dynamics. Furthermore, the impact of demands for multiple ecosystem services on land use change needs to be investigated. This will allow for the consideration of temporal and cross-level interactions between supply and demand of ecosystem services and its impacts in land use change modelling.

Offshore wind power potential of the Gulf of Thailand

Waewsak J, Landry M, Gagnon Y. Offshore wind power potential of the Gulf of Thailand. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2015 ;81:609 - 626. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148115002517
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Being highly dependent of imported fossil fuels for its electricity generation, Thailand has an ambitious target for the integration of renewable energy in its electricity portfolio. This paper presents the offshore wind resource map of the Gulf of Thailand, with the objective of identifying the potential areas for grid connected offshore wind power development. A coupled numerical mesoscale atmospheric model and a microscale wind flow model, along with long-term global reanalysis climate data, are used to generate high resolution (200 m) wind resource maps at heights of 40 m, 80 m, 100 m, and 120 m above sea level. The offshore wind resource maps are validated using measured wind speeds obtained from 28 meteorological towers installed along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. The site selection of potential areas for offshore wind power development is assessed with a multi-criteria decision making analysis. Specifically to the Bay of Bangkok, results show that a technical power potential in the order of 3000 MW could be developed to generate an annual energy production estimated in the order of 6 TWh/year. For the whole Gulf of Thailand, a technical power potential estimated at 7000 MW could generate in the order of 15 TWh/year.

Development of a composite sea wall wave energy converter system

Buccino M, Stagonas D, Vicinanza D, Müller G. Development of a composite sea wall wave energy converter system. Renewable Energy [Internet]. 2015 ;81:509 - 522. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148115001925
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The cost-effective utilization of wave energy is still a major engineering challenge. Shoreline locations for Wave Energy Converters (WECs) offer lower wave energy densities when compared with offshore locations, but give significant advantages from the points of view of construction, maintenance and grid connection.

This article provides a first analysis on the viability of a very low-head hydropower plant, in which waves accumulate water into a shoreline reservoir created by a steep detached ramp. The system is particularly suitable for micro-tidal environments such as the Mediterranean Sea and has the additional advantage of protecting shorelines, seawalls and coastal assets from wave action.

Physical model tests, conducted with regular waves, have been used to get a preliminary estimate of the average water flux overtopping the ramp in a sea state; a novel low-head hydropower machine, developed at Southampton University, has been considered for the conversion of the hydraulic energy into electricity.

The site of Porto Alabe, located along the West coast of Sardinia (Italy), has been chosen as a first case study. Based on the inshore wave climate, the layout of the ramp has been designed as a tradeoff between the needs of maximizing the energy production, providing the coastal area with an adequate protection and making the plant a desirable investment to either private or public players. The results are interesting both from a technical and an economic point of views and encourage a further deepening on the response of this kind of WEC.

Differential Response of Fish Assemblages to Coral Reef-Based Seaweed Farming

E. Hehre J, Meeuwig JJ. Differential Response of Fish Assemblages to Coral Reef-Based Seaweed Farming. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2015 ;10(3):e0118838. Available from: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0118838
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

As the global demand for seaweed-derived products drives the expansion of seaweed farming onto shallow coral ecosystems, the effects of farms on fish assemblages remain largely unexplored. Shallow coral reefs provide food and shelter for highly diverse fish assemblages but are increasingly modified by anthropogenic activities. We hypothesized that the introduction of seaweed farms into degraded shallow coral reefs had potential to generate ecological benefits for fish by adding structural complexity and a possible food source. We conducted 210 transects at 14 locations, with sampling stratified across seaweed farms and sites adjacent to and distant from farms. At a seascape scale, locations were classified by their level of exposure to human disturbance. We compared sites where (1) marine protected areas (MPAs) were established, (2) neither MPAs nor blast fishing was present (hence “unprotected”), and (3) blast fishing occurred. We observed 80,186 fish representing 148 species from 38 families. The negative effects of seaweed farms on fish assemblages appeared stronger in the absence of blast fishing and were strongest when MPAs were present, likely reflecting the positive influence of the MPAs on fish within them. Species differentiating fish assemblages with respect to seaweed farming and disturbance were typically small but also included two key target species. The propensity for seaweed farms to increase fish diversity, abundance, and biomass is limited and may reduce MPA benefits. We suggest that careful consideration be given to the placement of seaweed farms relative to MPAs.

Ocean grabbing

Bennett NJames, Govan H, Satterfield T. Ocean grabbing. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;57:61 - 68. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000755
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The term “ocean grabbing” has been used to describe actions, policies or initiatives that deprive small-scale fishers of resources, dispossess vulnerable populations of coastal lands, and/or undermine historical access to areas of the sea. Rights and access to marine resources and spaces are frequently reallocated through government or private sector initiatives to achieve conservation, management or development objectives with a variety of outcomes for different sectors of society. This paper provides a definition and gives examples of reallocations of marine resources or spaces that might constitute “ocean grabbing”. It offers a tentative framework for evaluating whether marine conservation, management or development is ocean grabbing and proposes an agenda for future research. For a reallocation to be considered ocean grabbing, it must: (1) occur by means of inadequate governance, and (2) be implemented using actions that undermine human security and livelihoods, or (3) produce impacts that reduce social–ecological well-being. Future research on ocean grabbing will: document case studies, drivers and consequences; conduct spatial and historical analyses; and investigate solutions. The intent is to stimulate rigorous discussion and promote systematic inquiry into the phenomenon of ocean grabbing.

Key principles of marine ecosystem-based management

Long RD, Charles A, Stephenson RL. Key principles of marine ecosystem-based management. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;57:53 - 60. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1500024X
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) has gained international popularity in recent years, but the lack of consensus on its definition has precluded the use of a universal implementation framework. The large number and variety of principles that make up EBM, and the diversity in perspectives among key management players, has impeded the practical application of EBM. Agreement on a list of the essential ingredients of EBM is vital to successful application. A frequency analysis of EBM principles was conducted to identify the Key Principles that currently define EBM, from a list of twenty-six principles extracted from a subset of the EBM theoretical/conceptual literature (covering a range of published sources across disciplines and application types). Fifteen Key Principles were identified (in descending frequency of appearance in the literature): Consider Ecosystem Connections, Appropriate Spatial & Temporal Scales, Adaptive Management, Use of Scientific Knowledge, Integrated Management, Stakeholder Involvement, Account for Dynamic Nature of Ecosystems, Ecological Integrity & Biodiversity, Sustainability, Recognise Coupled Social-Ecological Systems, Decisions reflect Societal Choice, Distinct Boundaries, Interdisciplinarity, Appropriate Monitoring, and Acknowledge Uncertainty. This paper also examines the development of EBM principles over time, leading to predictions on the directions EBM will take in the future. The frequency analysis methodology used here can be replicated to update the Key Principles of EBM in the future. Indeed, further research on potential emerging Key Principles such as ‘Consider Cumulative Impacts’, ‘Apply the Precautionary Approach’ and ‘Explicitly Acknowledge Trade Offs’ will help shape EBM and its successful application in the management of marine activities.

Modeling the impacts of wildfire on runoff and pollutant transport from coastal watersheds to the nearshore environment

Morrison KD, Kolden CA. Modeling the impacts of wildfire on runoff and pollutant transport from coastal watersheds to the nearshore environment. Journal of Environmental Management [Internet]. 2015 ;151:113 - 123. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479714006045
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Wildfire is a common disturbance that can significantly alter vegetation in watersheds and affect the rate of sediment and nutrient transport to adjacent nearshore oceanic environments. Changes in runoff resulting from heterogeneous wildfire effects are not well-understood due to both limitations in the field measurement of runoff and temporally-limited spatial data available to parameterize runoff models. We apply replicable, scalable methods for modeling wildfire impacts on sediment and nonpoint source pollutant export into the nearshore environment, and assess relationships between wildfire severity and runoff. Nonpoint source pollutants were modeled using a GIS-based empirical deterministic model parameterized with multi-year land cover data to quantify fire-induced increases in transport to the nearshore environment. Results indicate post-fire concentration increases in phosphorus by 161 percent, sediments by 350 percent and total suspended solids (TSS) by 53 percent above pre-fire years. Higher wildfire severity was associated with the greater increase in exports of pollutants and sediment to the nearshore environment, primarily resulting from the conversion of forest and shrubland to grassland. This suggests that increasing wildfire severity with climate change will increase potential negative impacts to adjacent marine ecosystems. The approach used is replicable and can be utilized to assess the effects of other types of land cover change at landscape scales. It also provides a planning and prioritization framework for management activities associated with wildfire, including suppression, thinning, and post-fire rehabilitation, allowing for quantification of potential negative impacts to the nearshore environment in coastal basins.

Coherence between marine and land use planning: public attitudes to landscapes in the context of siting a wind park along the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea

Veidemane K, Nikodemus O. Coherence between marine and land use planning: public attitudes to landscapes in the context of siting a wind park along the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management [Internet]. 2015 ;58(6):949 - 975. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09640568.2014.903167
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The aim of this paper is to contribute to coherence in marine, coastal and land use planning and management from the perspective of landscape values. At a time when new sea uses are emerging and marine spatial planning laws and regulations are being adopted, but have not yet been put into practice, research studies are required that provide spatial planners with informed insights concerning public stakeholder attitudes to controversial policies. The undertaken research explored the attitudes of two important social groups (local residents and tourists/recreational users) regarding locating wind parks in the marine and/or terrestrial environment along the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea. The results of the study indicate that both groups support land-based wind park development versus offshore. Moreover, the visibility of wind turbines influences the willingness of tourists to visit recreation sites and impacts directly on their duration of stay. Research findings indicate that policy makers and spatial planners from both marine and land domains should adopt a broader and more integrated approach when setting priorities and allocating space for development activities where both domains are involved.

Environmental constraints drive the partitioning of the soundscape in fishes

Ruppé L, Clément G, Herrel A, Ballesta L, Décamps T, Kéver L, Parmentier E. Environmental constraints drive the partitioning of the soundscape in fishes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2015 :201424667. Available from: http://www.pnas.org/lookup/doi/10.1073/pnas.1424667112
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The underwater environment is more and more being depicted as particularly noisy, and the inventory of calling fishes is continuously increasing. However, it currently remains unknown how species share the soundscape and are able to communicate without misinterpreting the messages. Different mechanisms of interference avoidance have been documented in birds, mammals, and frogs, but little is known about interference avoidance in fishes. How fish thus partition the soundscape underwater remains unknown, as acoustic communication and its organization have never been studied at the level of fish communities. In this study, passive acoustic recordings were used to inventory sounds produced in a fish community (120 m depth) in an attempt to understand how different species partition the acoustic environment. We uncovered an important diversity of fish sounds, and 16 of the 37 different sounds recorded were sufficiently abundant to use in a quantitative analysis. We show that sonic activity allows a clear distinction between a diurnal and a nocturnal group of fishes. Moreover, frequencies of signals made during the day overlap, whereas there is a clear distinction between the different representatives of the nocturnal callers because of a lack of overlap in sound frequency. This first demonstration, to our knowledge, of interference avoidance in a fish community can be understood by the way sounds are used. In diurnal species, sounds are mostly used to support visual display, whereas nocturnal species are generally deprived of visual cues, resulting in acoustic constraints being more important.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - 2015-04-15