Editor’s Choice: Volume 107 Issue 6

Journal of Ecology Blog

The Editor’s Choice article forVolume 107 Issue 6is a study by Quintana‐Ascencioet al., which looks at therole of seed dormancy, dispersal and fire history on plant population dynamics, distribution and abundance. Associate Editor, Shurong Zhou, discusses this new research paper in more detail.


Biodiversity conservation and management depend on our understanding of population dynamics at multiple scales. However, most population models consider only small spatial scales. The predicted patterns of distribution and abundance may not scale up to a larger, regional scales – where environmental or anthropogenic changes are usually involved (Beissinger & Westphal 1998). So, predicting regional population distribution and viability may be critically important when dealing with large scale changes in population dynamics, for conversation and management. However, possibly due to difficulties in collecting long-term and large-scale demographic data, many studies chose to ignore the underlying landscape issue or treat it in a simplistic manner.

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Special Feature: Dispersal processes driving plant movement

Journal of Ecology Blog

Journal of Ecology published a Special Feature in issue 105.1 titled; Dispersal Processes driving plant movement: Range shifts in a changing world. One of the guest editors, Cristina García, tells us more about the Special Feature below…


105-1Most living organisms need to mobilise their propagules to avoid inter-specific competition, escape suboptimal or poor local conditions and colonise suitably remote sites. Dispersal is particularly challenging for sessile organisms, such as plants that typically get dispersed across the landscape by disseminating their seeds. Dispersal has long fascinated ecologists and distinguished naturalists, such as Darwin and Wallace, who have invoked dispersal and migration processes to explain biogeographic patterns.

In an increasingly managed and fragmented world, constrained plant dispersal ability limits the chances of plant populations to persist and expand. We already have empirical evidence on the important role that local adaptation plays in organisms to cope with climate change, either through…

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Adaptations and phenotypic plasticity:A caterpillar`s efforts

A caterpilalar changes color to match its background to survive and evolve?

Many of you have heard of the famous peppered moth Biston betularia, a paradigmatic case of evolution by natural selection. (The normally inconspicuous white, speckled moth evolved a cryptic black coloration when smog blackened tree trunks in industrial England; and the same thing happened in the United States. When anti-pollution laws were enacted in both […]

via A caterpillar changes color to match its background using “extraocular photoreception”: it can see with its skin! — Why Evolution Is True

Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Reflection in 2018

Aichi Biodiversity Targets Reflection in 2018 shows we are very far from achieving the goals. People are still not aware of values of biodiversity, values of biodiversity still need to be integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies……science, technology, mobilisation of all resources…not yet possible. I outline here the Aichi Biodiversity targets and hope to get succinct responses.

-Five strategic goals have been given, which are:

(A) Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society

(B) Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use

(C) To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity

(D) Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
(E) Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

The goals have to be met by 2020 ( in the next two years). On reflection I thought we again look at these goals:

Strategic Goal  Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Target 1
By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
Target 2
By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and are being incorporated into national accounting, as appropriate, and reporting systems.
Target 3
By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.
Target 4
By 2020, at the latest, Governments, business and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption and have kept the impacts of use of natural resources well within safe ecological limits.
Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Target 5
By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

Target 6
By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.
Target 7
By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.
Target 8
By 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been brought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity.
Target 9
By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment.
Target 10
By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.
Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Target 11
By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.
Target 12
By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.
Target 13
By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.
Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Target 14
By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

Target 15
By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.
Target 16
By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation.
Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building
Target 17
By 2015 each Party has developed, adopted as a policy instrument, and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
Target 18
By 2020, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and their customary use of biological resources, are respected, subject to national legislation and relevant international obligations, and fully integrated and reflected in the implementation of the Convention with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities, at all relevant levels.
Target 19
By 2020, knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity, its values, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of its loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and applied.
Target 20
By 2020, at the latest, the mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 from all sources, and in accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy for Resource Mobilization, should increase substantially from the current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent to resource needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties.

Native mangrove tree species(c)

Light dependent properties of five Native Mangrove species(c)by Promila Kapoor-Vijay
A brief note
Promila Kapoor-Vijay(ID name Promila Kapoor)

There are about 80 species of true mangrove trees worldwide, mangrove ecosystems comprise a relatively low number of habitat-forming tree species, are rich with a high diversity of decomposer, detritivorous and consumer species. Although the overall level of diversity in mangrove ecosystems is low relative​ to those of other key tropical habitats such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests​s, these species collectively support many important ecosystem services (Lee​ et al.,(2017).
The key feature of Mangrove study relates to the ​adaptive capacity of five mangrove tree species and their response to strong light. The study​ by Kitao et al, describes and reports an ​examination of photosynthesis specifically the light-dependent​ properties of five mangrove native tree species which are: Sonneratia alba, Rhizophora stylosa, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Xylocarpus granatum)”.

Reference:

1.Mangrove Ecosystems: A Global Biogeographic Perspective.Rivera-Monroy V.H. et al. (2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62206-4_3

2. Light-dependent photosynthetic characteristics indicated by chlorophyll fluorescence in five mangrove species native to Pohnpei Island, Micronesia
DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2003.00042.x

Wild relatives of Native species- Rice, Sweet potato, ​Chenopods and others.

Wild relatives of Native Species- have been since time memorial found to be useful.These plants, and also other organisms are closely related to biological wealth of nations. Mrs.Promila Kapoor PhD
( I prefer to use my professional name Dr.Mrs. Promila Kapoor-Vijay (c)

Rice genome`s recent studies have brought out 3000 plant races of wild rice.Similar work on Sweet potato, Amaranth, Buckwheat, and Chenopods is ongoing.
The Latest development in the ​search for new plants to answer problem of hunger and malnutrition- focus on future crops such as Chenopodium Quinoa( Quinoa) is being given high attention.
“Quinoa for Future Food and Nutrition Security in Marginal Environments
The global population is expected to increase to 9.7 billion in 2050 and there are concerns about the capacity of agriculture to produce enough food for the growing population. By some estimates, food production will need to go up by about 60 percent either through an ​increase in crop yields per unit area or expansion in the arable land by 2050 to meet the demand (World Population Prospects-the 2008 Revision, UN, 2009).
Several regions already suffering from malnutrition, water scarcity and soil degradation have been forecast to have a large population growth which raises serious concerns about whether traditional agricultural methods and crops species will have the capacity to sustain global food production targets.
Major cereal crops like wheat, rice, barley and corn are progressively failing to withstand increasing salinity and scarce water resources in marginal environments that are most vulnerable to climate change.
There is an urgent need to identify alternative solutions to sustaining, and, possibly, increasing agricultural productivity in areas where growing conventional crops has become difficult, but the alternative/underutilised traditional crops such as Millets, Amaranths, Buckwheat, Quinoa have great potential. Some species such as Chenopods and their wild relatives can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition, ​and poverty.(c)