COVER PICTURE AND ISSUE INFORMATION

Free Access

Cover Picture and Issue Information

  • Pages: 2341-2343
  • First Published: 12 November 2021
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Cover image: Conservationist Patrícia Medici photographs a lowland tapir as the animal leaves a box-trap where it was captured for the collection of biological samples for health and genetic studies (pp. 2361–2370).

Photo: © João Marcos Rosa

SPECIAL FEATURE: NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR A CHANGING WORLD

Research Articles

Open Access

The potential contribution of terrestrial nature-based solutions to a national ‘net zero’ climate target

  • Pages: 2349-2360
  • First Published: 06 September 2021
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Major deployment of nature-based solutions (NbS) is possible in the United Kingdom but reaching ‘net zero’ primarily requires substantial and sustained reductions in fossil fuel use. However, facilitating these NbS at the national scale could offer many additional benefits for people and biodiversity. This demands that policy-makers commit to a UK-wide strategic approach that prioritises the ‘nature’ aspect of NbS. In the push to reach ‘net zero’, climate change mitigation should not be used to justify land management practices that threaten biodiversity ambitions.

Open Access

Large wild herbivores slow down the rapid decline of plant diversity in a tropical forest biodiversity hotspot

  • Pages: 2361-2370
  • First Published: 27 October 2021
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Our study indicates that large herbivores have moderate yet critical effects on slowing down community change and diversity loss of highly diverse plant communities, thus suggesting that the conservation of (and potentially trophic rewilding with) large herbivores is a fundamental nature-based solution for averting the global collapse of the strongholds of biodiversity. Its buffering effects on biodiversity loss operate at very small spatial scales, are likely contingent on successional stage and are most effective in old-growth or high diversity secondary forests.

Free Access

Balancing natural forest regrowth and tree planting to ensure social fairness and compliance with environmental policies

  • Pages: 2371-2383
  • First Published: 20 October 2021
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The environmental, social and economic outputs of large-scale forest restoration in the Atlantic Forest can be maximized when NFR and tree planting are balanced (Scenario II). To achieve compliance with forest restoration commitments, we thus advocate for the site-specific selection of the best forest restoration strategy to guarantee social fairness and compliance with environmental policies at minimum overall restoration costs.

POLICY DIRECTION

Open Access

Time to integrate global climate change and biodiversity science-policy agendas

  • Pages: 2384-2393
  • First Published: 21 September 2021
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Policy implications. The Conference of the Parties (COP) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) present a clear policy window for developing coherent policy frameworks that align targets across the nexus of biodiversity and climate change. This window should (a) address the substantial and chronic underfunding of global biodiversity conservation; (b) remove financial incentives that negatively impact biodiversity and/or climate change; (c) develop higher levels of integration between the biodiversity and climate change agendas; (d) agree on a monitoring framework that enables the standardised quantification and comparison of biodiversity gains associated with NbS across ecosystems and over time; and (e) rethink environmental legislation to better support biodiversity conservation in times of rapid climatic change.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Free Access

Invasion theory as a management tool for increasing native biodiversity in urban ecosystems

  • Pages: 2394-2403
  • First Published: 23 June 2021
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Viewing invasion mechanisms as a way to increase native biodiversity in novel urban ecosystems provides a useful reframing for assessing possible applications and management interventions for the most difficult-to-restore landscapes. We argue that conservation managers can use and test invasion hypotheses to inform biodiversity management practices in novel landscapes.

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Open Access

Forecasting the future establishment of invasive alien freshwater fish species

  • Pages: 2404-2414
  • First Published: 18 August 2021
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Our study demonstrates how risk assessments of invasive establishment can be synthesised based on readily available open data sources. This allows for the construction of tools to forecast invasion hotspots as a basis for designing mitigation actions, including early monitoring programs, horizon scanning initiatives and eradication measures. It also allows managers to determine where species are spreading as a result of direct human translocation, and where they are expanding as a result of increased temperatures.

Free Access

Dendritic prioritization through spatial stream network modeling informs targeted management of Himalayan riverscapes under brown trout invasion

  • Pages: 2415-2426
  • First Published: 23 September 2021
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Our approach of basin-scale dendritic prioritization provides immediate management solutions to tackle brown trout invasion threats in Himalaya. We inform decisions on delineation of headwaters as invasion refugia for native fish, with assisted recovery of their fragmented populations in the river mainstems through targeted management of invasives.

Open Access

Predicting the outcomes of management strategies for controlling invasive river fishes using individual-based models

  • Pages: 2427-2440
  • First Published: 23 July 2021
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This individual-based model predicted how management efforts can be optimized against invasive fishes, providing a strong complement to risk assessments. We demonstrated that for a range of species' characteristics, culling can control and even eradicate invasive fish, but only if consistent and relatively high effort is applied.

Open Access

An unintended ecological benefit from human intervention: The enhancement of carbon storage in seagrass meadows

  • Pages: 2441-2452
  • First Published: 17 July 2021
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Artificial opening of tidal inlet can potentially provide unintended ecological benefits, such as increased carbon sequestration in seagrass meadows. Hydrological interventions could be undertaken intentionally as a potential active intervention to sequester carbon, as well as control flood risk and provide other benefits to people in estuarine systems. Our results illustrate that physical factors such as improving salinity conditions and mineral particle supply have an impact on the feasibility of hydrological interventions for enhancing carbon sequestration. We propose that biogeochemical–physical coupled approach will help stakeholders to evaluate the ecological and social risks and synergies of implementing hydrological interventions.

Open Access

Managing biotic interactions during early seagrass life stages to improve seed-based restoration

  • Pages: 2453-2462
  • First Published: 23 July 2021
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Our results show that in seagrasses positive interactions during early life stages can be promoted by planting seedlings in dense clumps in association with an early successional species. The incorporation of this novel nature-based approach in seed-based restoration could accelerate the recolonization of degraded seagrass habitats. In planning future seed-based restoration interventions, managers should assess both intraspecific and interspecific interactions established by seedlings of target species for identifying proper planting density/spatial configuration and potential benefactor species promoting facilitative mechanisms to maximize seedling planting success.

Open Access

Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management works—How switching from mobile to static fishing gear improves populations of fished and non-fished species inside a marine-protected area

  • Pages: 2463-2478
  • First Published: 08 September 2021
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The Lyme Bay marine-protected area shows importance of protecting a whole site, comprising mosaics of different benthic habitats, through protection of sessile organisms that contribute to essential fish habitats. This Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management can benefit and maintain sustainable fisheries and species of conservation importance.

Free Access

Multiple-model stock assessment frameworks for precautionary management and conservation on fishery-targeted coastal dolphin populations off Japan

  • Pages: 2479-2492
  • First Published: 26 July 2021
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Multiple-model stock assessment to facilitate conservation and management of coastal dolphin populations. In spite of world-wide attention, fishery-targeted coastal dolphin species in Japan have lacked in-depth quantitative stock assessments because of limited time series of population size and an absence of associated biological information. Kanaji et al. developed integrated population models that analysed multiple sources of data simultaneously with published biological information within a Bayesian framework, and provided conservation and management advice for coastal dolphin populations.

Open Access

Planning ahead: Dynamic models forecast blue whale distribution with applications for spatial management

  • Pages: 2493-2504
  • First Published: 14 September 2021
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We develop and test ecological forecast models that predict sea surface temperature, net primary productivity and blue whale suitable habitat up to 3 weeks in the future within New Zealand's South Taranaki Bight region. These forecasts of whale distribution can be effectively applied for dynamic spatial management due to model foundation on quantified links and lags between physical forcing and biological responses. A framework to operationalize these forecasts through a user-driven application is in development to proactively inform conservation management decisions. This framework is implemented through stakeholder engagement, allows flexibility based on management objectives, and is amenable to improvement as new knowledge and feedback are received.

Open Access

Impacts of management at a local and landscape scale on pollinators in semi-natural grasslands

  • Pages: 2505-2514
  • First Published: 09 September 2021
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Using plant species as indicators for biodiversity in agri-environment schemes can have indirect benefits for non-target taxa like bumblebees, but broader indicators should be developed to incorporate other pollinator groups. Pollinator groups respond differently to local and landscape management in semi-natural grasslands. Agri-environmental management should consider a range of different management measures and landscape scale approaches where possible, to maximise benefits for a range of pollinator taxa.

Open Access

Negative effects of neonicotinoids on male honeybee survival, behaviour and physiology in the field

  • Pages: 2515-2528
  • First Published: 19 August 2021
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Our study demonstrated that neonicotinoids can elicit a diverse array of lethal (survival) and sublethal (behaviour, reproductive physiology) effects on male honeybees Apis mellifera in the field. These findings should be considered by policy makers looking to adopt and implement science-based, holistic risk assessments to more comprehensively assess effects of chemicals on important ecosystem service providing insects like the honeybee. To date, risk assessment schemes do not specifically address potential effects on male bees.

Open Access

Pollination services in a macadamia cultivar depend on across-orchard transport of cross pollen

  • Pages: 2529-2539
  • First Published: 22 August 2021
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Macadamia nut production resulted almost entirely from cross-pollination. Crop production was dependent on across-orchard transport of cross pollen, sometimes over at least 184 m. This shows the importance of pollen genotype, not just pollen quantity, in ensuring an effective pollination service. The number of harvested nuts decreased at 24 m from a cross-pollen source, suggesting that different cultivars should be inter-planted more closely in macadamia orchards. We need to better understand pollinator behaviour, including what genotype of pollen the different flower visitors carry, and how far and in what direction they transport pollen across orchards, to optimise crop yield and quality.

Open Access

Proximity to natural habitat and flower plantings increases insect populations and pollination services in South African apple orchards

  • Pages: 2540-2551
  • First Published: 26 July 2021
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We demonstrate that presence of floral plantings within orchards enhances pollinator activity within apple orchards and apple quality. This sustainable management practice may represent a profitable choice for growers, which could increase pollination services while reducing reliance on renting hives. These practices can indirectly contribute to increased landscape-scale resilience and connectivity while also benefiting pollinators within the remaining natural habitat.

Free Access

Local management or wider context: What determines the value of farm revegetation plantings for birds?

  • Pages: 2552-2565
  • First Published: 10 August 2021
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Land managers can enhance the conservation value of plantings by (a) planting a greater diversity of trees and shrubs and (b) locating revegetation near other vegetation or around mature remnant tree/s. These actions will measurably increase the value of plantings for birds, irrespective of larger-scale drivers. Nonetheless, the important role of increased vegetation cover across broader agricultural landscapes emphasises that the collective efforts of individuals and larger initiatives are critical for conservation.

Open Access

Plant diversity ameliorates the evolutionary development of fungicide resistance in an agricultural ecosystem

  • Pages: 2566-2578
  • First Published: 23 July 2021
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The development of fungicide resistance greatly threatens food security and ecological sustainability, and it is urgent need to develop agricultural practices which can ameliorate this problem. Our results show that potato crop with a genetic diversity is associated with a late blight pathogen of higher fungicide sensitivity and lower potential of developing fungicide resistance, indicating that agricultural diversification such as through cultivar mixture can reduce the application dose and frequency of fungicides needed to achieve the same level of disease control, which, in turn, further reduce the selection pressure acting on the pathogen populations and the evolutionary risk of developing fungicide resistance in pathogens. Together with benefits documented in other studies, our results indicate that crop diversification is an eco-friendly approach that not only ameliorate fungicide resistance but also help achieve social and ecological sustainability by balancing the interaction among food security, socio-economic development and ecological resilience and should be promoted.

Free Access

Interspecific interactions regulate plant reproductive allometry in cereal–legume intercropping systems

  • Pages: 2579-2589
  • First Published: 23 July 2021
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Plant reproductive allometry (PRA) behaves in crop species in the same way as it does in wild species. However, contrary to theoretical expectations about an overall invariance of PRA, we highlighted taxon-specific and context-dependent effects of plant–plant interactions on PRA. This systematic deviation to PRA expectations could be leveraged to cultivate each species up to its reproductive optimum while accounting for the performance of the other, whether farmer's objective is to favour one species or to reach an equilibrium in seed production. Sowing density and cultivar choice could regulate the biomass of each component, with specific targets derived from allometric relationships, aiming for an optimal reproductive allocation in mixtures.

Open Access

Soil microbial community coalescence and fertilization interact to drive the functioning of the legume–rhizobium symbiosis

  • Pages: 2590-2602
  • First Published: 18 August 2021
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The combination of soil mixing and fertilizer addition may be an important, but hitherto overlooked measure to improve the functioning of rhizobium symbioses in legume crops. Microbial community coalescence should gain recognition as a potentially effective mechanism to improve the functioning of plant microbiomes.

Free Access

Shifts from complementarity to selection effects maintain high productivity in maize/legume intercropping systems

  • Pages: 2603-2613
  • First Published: 10 August 2021
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Our study demonstrates how yield advantages of species-diverse intercropping systems can be maximized either through (a) CE in the absence of N fertilization thanks to complementarity in nutrient use between crops or (b) SE under N fertilization thanks to overyielding of highly productive species (i.e. maize). Yield advantages promoted by CE are more sustainable because they are associated with reduced chemical fertilizer use and greater monetary benefits to farmers. These findings have important implications for the design and management of species-diverse intercropping food-production systems.

Open Access

Low-intensity land-use enhances soil microbial activity, biomass and fungal-to-bacterial ratio in current and future climates

  • Pages: 2614-2625
  • First Published: 21 August 2021
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Our study shows that farmers can promote soil ecosystem functions through low-intensity management measures. In grasslands, low-intensity management measures such as high plant diversity consisting of grasses, forbs and legumes and no mineral fertilization improve soil microbial activity and biomass, as well as the fungal-to-bacterial ratio. On arable land, compliance with EU organic farming regulations improves the fungal-to-bacterial ratio. We conclude that low-intensity management can have positive effects on efficient carbon storage, nutrient cycling, soil erosion control and ecosystem multifunctionality under different land-use and climate change scenarios.

Free Access

Indirect effects mediate direct effects of climate warming on insect disturbance regimes of temperate broadleaf forests in the central U.S.

  • Pages: 2626-2636
  • First Published: 10 August 2021
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This study reveals indirect effects of warming climates mediate direct effects on insect disturbance regimes by altering primary host tree demographic dynamics. We highlight that indirect effects are important in understanding insect disturbance regimes under warming climates as they may mediate or even reverse the expectation of increased insect disturbance. Long-term predictions of insect disturbance without considering indirect effects may overestimate its impacts under warming climates. Our findings also indicate that different management interventions are required at different time-scales to maintain oak forests' health and sustainability in the U.S. central temperate broadleaf forests.

Free Access

Higher forest cover and less contrasting matrices improve carrion removal service by scavenger insects in tropical landscapes

  • Pages: 2637-2649
  • First Published: 12 August 2021
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Forested landscapes with less contrasting matrices maintain a higher provision of carrion removal service by sustaining communities composed of scavenger insects with higher carrion removal capacity—mostly forest-associated species. Landscape management focusing on the conservation and reforestation of native forest patches, as well as reducing matrix contrast, could facilitate species spillover and thereby ensure the provision of carrion removal service.

Free Access

Facilitation by isolated trees triggers woody encroachment and a biome shift at the savanna–forest transition

  • Pages: 2650-2660
  • First Published: 18 August 2021
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Fire suppression has allowed the nucleation process and consequently the woody encroachment and fast replacement of savanna specialists by forest species in the Cerrado. By elucidating the mechanisms behind woody encroachment, we recommend using prescribed fires to burn forest seedlings and to reduce tree canopy size wherever the management goal is to maintain the typical savanna structure and composition.

Free Access

Historical maps confirm the accuracy of zero-inflated model predictions of ancient tree abundance in English wood-pastures

  • Pages: 2661-2672
  • First Published: 18 August 2021
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Historical maps and statistical models can be used in combination to produce accurate predictions of ancient tree abundance in wood-pastures, and inform future targeted surveys of wood-pasture habitat, with a focus on those deemed to have undiscovered ancient trees. This study provides support for improvements to conservation policy and protection measures for ancient trees and wood-pastures.

Open Access

Reservoir dynamics of rabies in south-east Tanzania and the roles of cross-species transmission and domestic dog vaccination

  • Pages: 2673-2685
  • First Published: 31 August 2021
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In south-east Tanzania, despite a relatively high incidence of rabies in wildlife and evidence of wildlife-to-wildlife transmission, domestic dogs remain essential to the reservoir of infection. Continued dog vaccination alongside improved surveillance would allow a fuller understanding of the role of wildlife in maintaining transmission in this area. Nonetheless, dog vaccination clearly suppressed rabies in both domestic dog and wildlife populations, reducing both public health and conservation risks and, if sustained, has potential to eliminate rabies from this region.