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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Scientific publications

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23 May 2018

One-third of global protected land is under intense human pressure [Science]

In an era of massive biodiversity loss, the greatest conservation success story has been the growth of protected land globally. Protected areas are the primary defense against biodiversity loss, but extensive human activity within their boundaries can undermine this. Using the most comprehensive global map of human pressure, we show that 6 million square kilometers (32.8%) of protected land is under intense human pressure. For protected areas designated before the Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified in 1992, 55% have since experienced human pressure increases. These increases were lowest in large, strict protected areas, showing that they are potentially effective, at least in some nations. Transparent reporting on human pressure within protected areas is now critical, as are global targets aimed at efforts required to halt biodiversity loss.

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23 May 2018

Habitat connectivity is determined by the scale of habitat loss and dispersal strategy [Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : behavior genetics, connectivity, dispersal, habitat loss, landscape ecology, threshold

Understanding factors that ameliorate the impact of habitat loss is a major focus of conservation research. One key factor influencing species persistence and evolution is the ability to disperse across increasingly patchy landscapes. Here we ask whether interpatch distance (a proxy for habitat loss) and dispersal strategy can interact to form thresholds where connectivity breaks down. We assayed dispersal across a range of interpatch distances in fruit flies carrying allelic variants of a gene known to underlie differences in dispersal strategy.(...)

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18 May 2018

The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C [Science]

In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations is pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, whereas earlier aspirations focused on a 2°C limit. With current pledges, corresponding to 3.2°C warming, climatically determined geographic range losses of >50% are projected in 49% of insects, 44% of plants, and 26% of vertebrates. At 2°C, this falls to 18% of insects, 16% of plants, and 8% of vertebrates and at 1.5°C, to 6% of insects, 8% of plants, and 4% of vertebrates. When warming is limited to 1.5°C as compared with 2°C, numbers of species projected to lose >50% of their range are reduced by 66% in insects and by 50% in plants and vertebrates.

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18 May 2018

Wicked evolution: Can we address the sociobiological dilemma of pesticide resistance? [Science]

Resistance to insecticides and herbicides has cost billions of U.S. dollars in the agricultural sector and could result in millions of lives lost to insect-vectored diseases. We mostly continue to use pesticides as if resistance is a temporary issue that will be addressed by commercialization of new pesticides with novel modes of action. However, current evidence suggests that insect and weed evolution may outstrip our ability to replace outmoded chemicals and other control mechanisms. To avoid this outcome, we must address the mix of ecological, genetic, economic, and sociopolitical factors that prevent implementation of sustainable pest management practices. We offer an ambitious proposition.

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18 May 2018

Taboo adherence and presence of Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) in Andrafiamena forest [Madagascar Conservation & Development]

Jordi Salmona, Fabien Jan, Lounès Chikhi

Habitat loss and poaching are among the most serious threats to the fragile and unique biodiversity of Madagascar. In the past, traditional taboos (fady), commonly associated with folk stories, have had a buffering effect on several lemur species. Here, we examine the status of hunting taboos with reference to the conservation of the critically endangered Perrier´s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri). We also provide an update on P. perrieri’s presence in the protected area of Andrafiamena in the face of ongoing habitat fragmentation and poaching.(...)

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