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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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Development of European longterm ecosystem research infrastructures

Development of European longterm ecosystem research infrastructures

Distributed environmental research infrastructures are important to support assessments of the effects of global change on landscapes, ecosystems and society. These infrastructures need to provide continuity to address longterm change, yet be flexible enough to respond to rapid societal and technological developments that modify research priorities. This horizon scanning exercise was done to identify and prioritize emerging research questions for the future development of ecosystem and socio-ecological research infrastructures in Europe. Twenty research questions covered topics related to ecosystem structures and processes, the impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystems, ecosystem services and socio-ecological systems, and methods and research infrastructures. Several key priorities for the development of research infrastructures emerged. Addressing complex environmental issues requires the adoption of a whole-system approach, achieved through integration of biotic, abiotic and socio-economic measurements. Interoperability among different research infrastructures needs to be improved by developing standard measurements, harmonizing methods, and establishing capacities and tools for data integration, processing, storage and analysis. Future research infrastructures should support a range of methodological approaches including observation, experiments and modelling. They should also have flexibility to respond to new requirements, for example by adjusting the spatiotemporal design of measurements. When new methods are introduced, compatibility with important longterm data series must be ensured. Finally, indicators, tools, and transdisciplinary approaches to identify, quantify and value ecosystem services across spatial scales and domains need to be advanced. In summary, to address complex scientific issues sophisticated research infrastructures are required that operate in the longterm, and cover large spatial scales as well as multiple dimensions of ecosystems and socioecological systems. The combined network of LTER sites, LTSER platforms and Critical Zones Observatories offers great potential as a distributed infrastructure. LTSER platforms should be developed into pilot areas that will allow researchers, managers and decision makers to make evidence-based choices which centre on finding the balance between sustaining landscapes and the demands placed upon them by different stakeholders. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Musche et al (2019) Research questions to facilitate the future development of European longterm ecosystem research infrastructures: A horizon scanning exercise. J Environ Management DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109479


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479719311971