Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.
Tropical coastal communities face the impacts of climate change with increasing frequency and severity, which exacerbates existing local threats to natural resources and the societies that depend on them. Climate change presents a unique opportunity to reconsider how community-based planning is used to (1) improve overall climate knowledge, both through communicating climate science and incorporating local knowledge; (2) give equal consideration to the social and ecological aspects of community health and resilience; and (3) integrate multisector planning to maximize community benefits and minimize unintended negative impacts. This article describes a tool developed to respond to these opportunities in Micronesia and the Coral Triangle region, Adapting to a Changing Climate: Guide to Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) and Management Planning. It discusses challenges and lessons learned based on the process of the tool development, training with local communities and stakeholders, and input from those who have implemented the tool.
The Norwegian salmon industry has, in terms of production and economic results, been a great success. However, due to environmental problems such as sea lice and escapes, the industry encounters increasing resistance from many quarters, headed by the wild salmon sport fishers. In order to improve the image of the industry, the fisheries authorities have suggested four new reforms that all contribute to the greening of the industry. At present, the outcome of these reforms is uncertain. The article discusses the pros and cons of these reforms. It sees them as an introduction to the next large battle for space, which is due to take place if the salmon industry is going to expand as projected.
Seafood consumption has increased worldwide in the last 50 years considering both wild catches and aquaculture production. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the majority of world fisheries is at maximum exploitation levels or over-exploited. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is contributing to overfishing, as well as intentional or unintentional mislabeling of fish catches or their geographical origin. DNA identification methods can contribute to monitor mislabeling, mainly when dealing with processed seafood or morphologically similar species. It cannot be ignored that seafood mislabeling can also have food safety implications, due to the presence of toxic substances directly related to certain species or to the catch area. In this context, a review has been conducted analyzing scientific reports related to seafood mislabeling incidents published in the last five years to try to identify the level of real mislabeling, as well as, the more relevant gaps in this area. A total of 51 peer-reviewed papers including 4500 samples analyzed globally by DNA methodologies have been taken into account. The average percentage of reported misdescription is 30%. In general, incidents in restaurants and takeaways are much more common than in supermarkets and retailers. Therefore, specific studies should be conducted to confirm it because only 10% of analyzed samples were obtained from restaurants. In addition, we have observed a remarkable absence of appropriate sampling plans prior to sample collection.
An Offshore Wind Energy Geographic Information System (OWE-GIS) has been developed for the purpose of assessing the economically accessible offshore wind energy resource for the United Kingdom.
The UK OWE-GIS estimates the costs of energy from an offshore wind farm taking account of the major capital components; development costs dependent on water depth and distance from nearest ports or grid connection points; the potential energy production dependent on annual average wind speed, potential array losses, and turbine availability; operations and maintenance costs; and financial parameters such as discount rate and project lifetime. A sensitivity analysis is presented to show the influence of discount rate, project lifetime, and assumptions about overall capital expenditure (CAPEX), availability, and annual mean wind speed.
Multispecies fisheries pose a considerable management difficulty with respect to quota allocation between species. The distribution of total allowable catches (TACs) between species without considering fish community structure is altering the trophic interactions in the ecosystem and consequently impacts the natural productivity and the profitability of fishing. This paper aims to develop a methodological framework for assessing the composition and distribution of TACs within a heterogeneous fleet in a multispecies interaction system. The advantage of the presented approach combining a multispecies biological model with an economic model of individual vessel decisions is a possibility to analyze the harvest choice in the context of dynamic and changing conditions, where each action has a consequence for the future.
An empirical application is provided for the Polish Baltic Sea fleet, where the most valuable target species is cod. The regulatory body sets the annual quota based on the target fishing mortality varying between scenarios. The net present value of the fishery in each scenario is compared by simulating stock changes over time and paired with stock collapse probability estimates.
A mixed-method approach was used to assess and value the ecosystem services derived from the Dogger Bank, an extensive shallow sandbank in the southern North Sea. Three parallel studies were undertaken that 1) identified and quantified, where possible, how indicators for ecosystem service provision may change according to two future scenarios, 2) assessed members of the public's willingness-to-pay for improvements to a small number of ecosystem services as a consequence of a hypothetical management plan, and 3) facilitated a process of deliberation that allowed members of the public to explore the uses of the Dogger Bank and the conflicts and dilemmas involved in its management. Each of these studies was designed to answer different and specific research questions and therefore contributes different insights about the ecosystem services delivered by the Dogger Bank. This paper explores what can be gained by bringing these findings together post hoc and the extent to which the different methods are complementary. Findings suggest that mixed-method research brings more understanding than can be gained from the individual approaches alone. Nevertheless, the choice of methods used and how these methods are implemented strongly affects the results obtained.
This paper analyses the distribution and conservation state of Patella candei d'Orbigny 1840, a limpet species endemic to Macaronesia, included in the Spanish National Catalogue of Endangered Species. In Spain, it is restricted to the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), where populations verging on extinction can be found. The data here examined show this species presents a better state of conservation on the Selvagens Islands, a group of Portuguese islets located 90 nautical miles north of the Canaries. These populations were considered relictual, after its extinction in the Canaries, Madeira and the Azores due to human over-exploitation since prehistoric times. Now, after an exhaustive sampling of the Canary coastline and a survey of the limpets found in the archaeological records of shellfishing activity by Canary aborigines, this hypothesis should be rejected. It has become clear that when humans started to settle in the Canary Islands this species was only abundant on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, due to natural processes of colonisation and speciation. Analysis of the temporal evolution of the limpet populations confirms that inclusion in the list of endangered species and collection bans are ineffective. Therefore, a different protection and recovery strategy is proposed in this paper. This programme would consist of translocating juveniles recruited from artificial surfaces once the conservation and viability of the surviving populations are assured. These repopulations can be carried out in areas of Fuerteventura acting as no-take zones, situated near human settlements to facilitate vigilance, since the populations formerly found in remote protected zones have now disappeared.
With the rapid development of human society, the demand for energy has accordingly increased, and along with this increasingly serious energy and environmental crises have developed. Many countries have been focusing on new energy resources to combat these crises, and offshore wind energy resources are especially attractive; they are safe, non-polluting, renewable, and widely distributed with large reserves, which has made them become the focus of developed countries. However, the distribution of wind energy has strong regional and seasonal differences, which determines the success and efficiency of wind energy developments. Therefore, there is a clear need for “resource evaluation and planning in advance” in the wind energy development. Previous research has made a great contribution to the evaluation of offshore wind energy resources, mostly through analysis of the climatic characteristics of wind energy. In the actual development process of wind energy resources, these analyses of the climatic characteristics of wind energy provide a reference for site selection. However, after constructing wind farms, to aid their operation, there needs to be a more comprehensive understanding of other factors, such as the short-term forecasting and medium- to long-term predictions of wind energy. This paper reviews the research progress of the wind energy resource evaluations, and then considers where future research needs to focus, for the evaluation of wind energy resources. This mainly includes further analyses of the climatic characteristics of wind energy, short-term forecasting, medium- to long-term predictions, early disaster warning systems, the establishment of a wind energy development index (WEDI) and an integrated application system, in hope of providing a reference for offshore wind power generation, seawater desalination and other wind energy resource developments, and accelerating the industrialization and utilization of offshore wind energy. Doing this will alleviate the energy and environmental crises, and promote the sustainable development of human society.
In this paper, we estimate the potential marine energy available from different types of resources in Colombia: waves, tides, currents, salinity gradients and thermal gradients, focussing on specific locations. The main constraint on this analysis is the lack of long-term marine instrumentation and data. In order to overcome this difficulty, we use oceanic numerical modelling with data from reanalysis models, climatic data from remote sensors, and primary data from existing instrumentation and fieldwork. The models were calibrated and run to calculate—based on existing marine systems—the potential nationwide marine power resources, on different time and spatial scales, for both the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific coasts. For each marine resource, we first explain the method used to assess the power potential; then we present the potential marine energy result. Further, we carry out a policy analysis where we discuss not only the power potential but also the barriers (mainly cost) faced by marine energy. Given the potentials found by earlier studies, these results define for Colombia, and also for Central and South America generally, the road map for future pre-feasibility analysis, taking into account the energy demands of the populations, existing technologies, and the environmental, social and geographical characteristics of the regions.