Special Issue "In Situ Conservation Tools to Mitigate Impacts from Global Change on Biodiversity"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2023 | Viewed by 4420

Special Issue Editors

Dr. David Rodríguez-Rodríguez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
European Topic Centre, University of Malaga, C/Arquitecto Francisco Peñalosa, 18, 29010 Malaga, Spain
Interests: biodiversity conservation; protected area effectiveness; sustainability assessment; policy assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Javier Martínez-Vega
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Economy, Geography and Demography, Spanish Research Council, C/Albasanz, 26, 28037 Madrid, Spain
Interests: land use-land cover changes; protected areas; human risk of forest fires; sustainability assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The human impact on the biosphere is greater than ever. Global human-made environmental changes, notably land use–land cover changes and climate change, are threatening up to one million living species with extinction in the coming decades (IPBES, 2019). The sustained expansion of protected area (PA) systems is proving insufficient to abate ever-growing pressures both inside and outside PAs (Butchart et al., 2010; IPBES, 2019); thus, assessing and enhancing conservation effectiveness is becoming increasingly important. It is likely that other complementary on-site biodiversity conservation tools are additionally needed to stop and revert the alarming biodiversity crisis that humans have created.

This Special Issue seeks original contributions on global change pressures on terrestrial PAs, PA effectiveness in responding to such pressures and conserving biodiversity, and assessments of other on-site conservation initiatives that can complement PAs and help retain as much biodiversity as possible in the face of global change. Examples of such tools are Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs), community-conserved areas, areas under land stewardship, or ecological restoration areas/projects.

Authors are encouraged to submit studies on biodiversity assessment outcomes in PAs/OECMs, accurate and innovative site assessment methods, analyses of pressures on PAs/OECMs, threat abatement initiatives, and original proposals for reverting gloomy biodiversity trends focusing on PAs but also on broader in situ landscape conservation, management, or governance approaches such as ecological restoration, OECMs, land stewardship schemes, or indigenous and community conserved areas. National, regional, or global analyses and reviews as well as case studies are particularly welcomed.

Dr. David Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Dr. Javier Martínez-Vega
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biodiversity crisis
  • pressure assessment
  • protected area effectiveness
  • conservation outcome
  • land use–land cover change
  • climate change
  • ecological restoration
  • OECM
  • community conserved area
  • Anthropocene

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Identification of Wetland Conservation Gaps in Rapidly Urbanizing Areas: A Case Study in Zhengzhou, China
Land 2023, 12(1), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010221 - 10 Jan 2023
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Exploring protected area (PA) siting from a biodiversity perspective is critical in mitigating human impacts on ecosystems. This paper used the MaxEnt model to predict the geographic distribution patterns of wetland species in Zhengzhou and the environmental factors affecting species’ habitat selection. Environmental [...] Read more.
Exploring protected area (PA) siting from a biodiversity perspective is critical in mitigating human impacts on ecosystems. This paper used the MaxEnt model to predict the geographic distribution patterns of wetland species in Zhengzhou and the environmental factors affecting species’ habitat selection. Environmental variables were screened by correlation analysis to avoid affecting the prediction results due to overfitting of the model. The AUC value of the training set of the model ROC curve was above 0.8, and the prediction accuracy was high. The prediction results showed that the only nature reserve in Zhengzhou, Yellow River Wetland Nature Reserve, currently covers only 10.25% of the total area of the high suitability areas for plants and 17.54% of the high suitability habitat areas for waterfowl in the whole area of Zhengzhou. The potential suitability areas of wetland species outside the reserve can provide a basis for site selection for wetland conservation planning in Zhengzhou. It was found that the geographic distribution of wetland species in Zhengzhou is constrained by the distribution of water bodies, bioclimatic variables, land cover, and population density. Full article
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Article
Application of the Analysis Time Series and Multispectral Images for the Estimation of the Conditions of the Vegetation Covers of the Natural Areas of Southern Spain
Land 2023, 12(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010042 - 23 Dec 2022
Viewed by 395
Abstract
It has been scientifically proven that climate change is a reality. In subarid Mediterranean limates, this fact is observed in the irregular distribution of rainfall, resulting in alternating periods of more or less prolonged drought with episodes of torrential rains concentrated in short [...] Read more.
It has been scientifically proven that climate change is a reality. In subarid Mediterranean limates, this fact is observed in the irregular distribution of rainfall, resulting in alternating periods of more or less prolonged drought with episodes of torrential rains concentrated in short periods of time. We have selected 11 natural areas in southern Spain, where we will observe these circumstances and where a series of ecosystems composed of vegetation covers of a high ecological value are found. We start from the question of whether these climatic circumstances are really deteriorating them. For this study, we propose a method that combines three analysis techniques: the design of the time series, the application of vegetation indices, and the use of techniques analysis of changes in land use. From the combination of these techniques in the period from 1997 to 2021, we have observed that there have been a dynamic of changes in land use that has maintained its original characteristics by more than 70%, so it is possible to affirm that the adaptation of ecosystems to climatic conditions has occurred satisfactorily. However, this general statement shows some particularities which are those that we will show in this work. Full article
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Article
Assessing Climate Change Exposure for the Adaptation of Conservation Management: The Importance of Scale in Mountain Landscapes
Land 2022, 11(11), 2052; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11112052 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Vulnerability of mountain ecosystems to climate change depends on the capacity of topographic variation to provide heterogeneous microclimates and rates of climatic change. Accurate methods are therefore needed to assess climate at spatial resolutions relevant to ecological responses and environmental management. Here, we [...] Read more.
Vulnerability of mountain ecosystems to climate change depends on the capacity of topographic variation to provide heterogeneous microclimates and rates of climatic change. Accurate methods are therefore needed to assess climate at spatial resolutions relevant to ecological responses and environmental management. Here, we evaluate a mechanistic microclimate model (30 m resolution; Microclima) and mesoclimate data (1 km; CHELSA) against in situ temperatures, finding that both capture (whilst somewhat underestimating) variation well in observed ground-level maxima along a mountain ridge in 2011-13. We apply the models to estimate ecological exposure to recent temperature changes for four mountain areas of the Iberian Peninsula, based on analogous and non-analogous monthly maxima in 1980–1989 versus 2010–2019. The microclimate model revealed fine-resolution exposure to non-analogous conditions that were concealed in mesoclimate data, although whether exposure was greater at the micro- or mesoscale (and hence the types of organisms or management decisions affected) depended on the topographic context of each mountain range. Habitat type influenced microclimatic exposure, and hence may provide opportunities for conservation adaptation. These results suggest that mechanistic models are potentially useful tools to assess exposure to climate change at spatial resolutions that permit understanding and management of biodiversity responses in mountain ecosystems. Full article
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Article
Identification of Priority Forest Conservation Areas for Critically Endangered Lemur Species of Madagascar
Land 2022, 11(9), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091455 - 01 Sep 2022
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Forests have extraordinary importance for the conservation of endemic species in Madagascar. However, they are disappearing fast due to a number of pressures, notably unsustainable agricultural practices leading to aggravated status of biodiversity. Here, we used a number of ecological and spatial criteria [...] Read more.
Forests have extraordinary importance for the conservation of endemic species in Madagascar. However, they are disappearing fast due to a number of pressures, notably unsustainable agricultural practices leading to aggravated status of biodiversity. Here, we used a number of ecological and spatial criteria to identify and prioritise unprotected forest areas for the conservation of the eight critically endangered species of lemur belonging to the Lemuridae family in Madagascar. By combining spatial information layers on the distribution areas of the studied lemurs, forest extension and conservation status, and potential human impacts (such as roads, human settlements and agriculture lands), it was possible to identify the most appropriate sites for the expansion of the conservation areas of critically endangered lemur species. Seven new sites, totalling over 33,000 ha, were identified as priority sites for the protection of those species. All of them were adjacent to or inside (just one site) existing protected areas (PAs), which likely makes their protection both feasible and socioeconomically efficient by enlarging those PAs. Legally protecting these sites would not only take Madagascar one little step ahead for meeting oncoming global biodiversity targets for 2030 but could also make a substantial contribution to the mid-term survival of the studied lemur species. Full article
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Article
Measurement of the Threatened Biodiversity Existence Value Output: Application of the Refined System of Environmental-Economic Accounting in the Pinus pinea Forests of Andalusia, Spain
Land 2022, 11(7), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071119 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Are we able to determine the existence value output generated for society through the preservation of wild species threatened with extinction? In this article we defend the theory that the service of preserving threatened species with risk of extinction is an existence value [...] Read more.
Are we able to determine the existence value output generated for society through the preservation of wild species threatened with extinction? In this article we defend the theory that the service of preserving threatened species with risk of extinction is an existence value output with a hidden transaction price if it can be established that there are consumer or state willingness to pay an additional tax above the government total cost to avoid an increase in one threatened species in relation to the number recorded at the opening of the accounting period. This output is estimated by adding the total cost and the additional consumer tax which the consumers state that they are willing to pay through a choice experiment survey. Our refined monetary System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (rSEEA) extends the existence value output concept and valuation principles recommended by the United Nations. In this paper, this rSEEA was applied to Pinus pinea forests in protected as well as non-protected areas of Andalusia, Spain in 2010. The results show that the net value added from protected areas is 40% higher than that from non-protected areas. It is incidental that the environmental benefits in both areas coincide. Full article
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Article
Protected Area Effectiveness in the Scientific Literature: A Decade-Long Bibliometric Analysis
Land 2022, 11(6), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11060924 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
Protected areas (PAs) aim to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services in the long term. Despite remarkable growth in the area covered by PAs in recent years, biodiversity trends still show worrisome outcomes. Here, we conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) of scientific articles [...] Read more.
Protected areas (PAs) aim to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services in the long term. Despite remarkable growth in the area covered by PAs in recent years, biodiversity trends still show worrisome outcomes. Here, we conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) of scientific articles focusing on the ecological effectiveness of PAs that were published in the 2010–2019 decade using Scopus in order to show the latest publication trends in that research field. After three consecutive screenings, we analyzed a final census sample of 76 articles that used semiexperimental research designs. We assessed 3 thematic variables (i.e., related to ecological effectiveness) and 13 bibliometric variables through descriptive statistics, Spearman correlation tests, and Kruskal–Wallis difference tests. Our results demonstrate the growing size of research teams working on this topic, broader international collaboration, and greater length of the articles published on this subject. During that decade, the number of normalized citations (+28%) and the mean field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) of the set of reviewed articles (33% higher than expected) increased. We also observed an increase in open access publications (+13%). However, this mode of publication did not ensure more citations. Finally, we observed a positive correlation between the number of normalized citations and the inclusion of Supplementary Data in the articles. Full article
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