Symposia and Thematic Poster Exhibition
For further information on each symposia please click on the title.
- Managing disease interaction among domestic and wild species: new tools for animal health and wildlife conservation Roman Biek, Sarah Cleaveland
- Increasingly and around the world, wildlife populations share habitat and interact with domesticated animals. This creates opportunities for infectious diseases to be shared among wild and domestic species, with significant consequences for conservation (e.g. distemper virus in lions) and animal production (e.g. cattle exposed to bovine TB). Whatever the motivation, the development of appropriate management strategies in these cases usually poses a significant challenge due to the difficulty of quantifying the epidemiology of diseases involving multiple host species, the often complex nature of their interactions, and the elusive problem of identifying disease reservoirs. The purpose of this symposium would be to highlight recent methodological advances in exemplary systems aimed at improving the scientific basis for disease management at the wildlife-domestic animal interface. Refining and testing these approaches and making them available to a larger number of people worldwide will be critical for achieving a major conservation goal: to ensure the co-existence of human and wildlife communities.
- Applying conservation biology knowledge across the temperate agricultural grasslands of NW Europe Dave Buckingham, Raphael Arlettaz
- Agri-environment measures for livestock-rearing farms are less well developed than those designed for arable crops. During the last decade, considerable progress has been made in understanding the ecology of agricultural grasslands, leading to the development of practical conservation measures. There is a great diversity of grassland communities and management practice across temperate NW Europe, even though ryegrass monocultures and species-poor semi-improved grasslands predominate. Applied ecological research on grasslands often requires significant resources, so detailed understanding has only been obtained for certain grassland types, management practices, geographical regions and taxonomic groups. Applying this knowledge across the full range of different agricultural grasslands in the region presents significant challenges. Many results from restricted studies will be widely applicable and need not be repeated. Before committing to expensive, new research, conservation managers developing agri-environment schemes need to judge the existing evidence base in a number of ways. Can ecological understanding from studies on agriculturally improved grasslands be used to inform conservation interventions on species-rich communities and vice versa? Does this depend on the taxonomic group involved? Will conservation measures developed in one country work in another with a differing climate? To what extent can countries on the NW edge of Europe copy agri-environment measures from countries further east and south, with more continental climates, longer growing seasons and greater biodiversity? In this symposium, we will review recent developments in applied ecological research, across the region and between different taxonomic groups. We will explore how widely this knowledge can be applied and seek to identify knowledge gaps where new research should be targeted.
- Image in conservation - everything or nothing? Ian Convery, Owen Nevin
- Digital technologies have radically changed the use of image in conservation. This symposium will address, through a series of case studies, a diverse cross section of the use of image from camera trapping as a virtual naturalist in the context of biodiversity exploration to participatory video and public education.
- Nature conservation at the landscape level in agricultural areas: implication for policy making Geert de Snoo, Kees Musters
- It is a well-known ecological fact that local species richness is affect by both the characteristics and the landscape context of a location. Recent studies show that landscape impacts can be attributed to semi-natural elements still occurring in agricultural areas, such as hedges, ditch banks and field margins. Thus on-farm biodiversity depends on the prevalence of these remnants in the landscape and this in turn affects the effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes. These new insights imply that the design of conservation programs should be targeted to the nature of the landscape combined with locally focused agri-environmental schemes. Agri-environmental schemes are in general locally focused because they are usually based on contracts between individual farmers and governmental institutes. But how can regional steering of landscape measures be implemented? This symposium will present our most recent knowledge on the impact of landscape quality on the effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes and discuss the implications of this knowledge for landscape level measures of nature conservation and their implementation for nature conservation policy in agricultural areas.
- Conservation Ecology of Europe's Rainforest Epiphytes Christopher Ellis, Einar Heegaard
- The bioclimatic conditions associated with temperate-boreal rainforest occur across < 1 % of the global land surface, with c. 15 % of this available climate space within Europe. In terms of its ecology, the temperate-boreal rainforest ecosystem is very strongly characterised by the biomass and composition of its epiphytes, especially the occurrence of N-fixing ‘cyanolichens’. Two human-induced threats have significantly impacted European rainforest: first, deforestation, leading to habitat loss and/or degradation. Second, air-pollution has decimated the rainforest epiphyte flora within many surviving forest remnants. Nevertheless, small pockets of remnant ‘ancient’ woodland are coincident with a relatively clean-air environment, especially on the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, in south-west Norway, and locally on the Iberian Peninsula. These epiphyte-rich rainforest habitats are true ecosystems on the edge. These remnant habitat patches provide a series of specific challenges, which must be overcome in order to ensure the conservation of Europe’s remaining ‘intact’ rainforest, with its characteristic epiphyte flora. For example: 1. In terms of large-scale threats, climate modelling (bioclimatic modelling) has proven extremely difficult for European rainforest epiphytes, as their realised niche can only partially modelled. This is explained by their occurrence at the edge of a land mass, making it difficult to provide definitive statements of risk. 2. In terms of local habitat management, Europe has little or no ‘old-growth’ rainforest, analogous to that along the west coast of North America, or in New Zealand. In contrast, rainforest epiphytes exist within an ‘ancient’ though culturally-derived woodland type, and this long-term and continuing human interaction needs to be reconciled with their high conservation status.
- Integrating mycological knowledge into European conservation biology, policy and practice P Halme, Elizabeth Barron, Anders Dahlberg, Lynne Boddy
- The goal of the proposed symposium is to make members of the conservation community aware of fungal conservation research and activities, to foster the further integration of fungi into biodiversity conservation at all levels. Since the publication of the first national fungal red list in 1984 in the Netherlands and the establishment of the European Council for the Conservation of Fungi in 1985, fungal conservation has been gaining traction across Europe. Several European countries now have functional red lists for fungi, and the first continental scale fungal red list is in development. A recent special issue of Fungal Ecology devoted to “conservation underground” and growing interest in fungal conservation in national and international venues highlight the growing interest in this topic. Despite these facts, fungi are severely neglected in much of European and global conservation policy, practice, and education, making the topic of the proposed symposium truly “on the cutting edge” of conservation. Our invited speakers bring together knowledge for and from researchers, policy makers, conservation practitioners and resource users. Ranging from issues of climate change and red-listing, to land management and stakeholder involvement; the proposed symposium presents up-to-date biodiversity conservation research and practice from the fungal perspective. As such, it is relevant for all those interested in the complexity of issues surrounding conservation of the animals, fungi and plants. It is critical for the future of conservation that research on and including fungi, and those doing this work, become better integrated with the wider conservation community. We are confident that this symposium will contribute significantly to that goal by generating knowledge exchange across traditional taxonomic boundaries. Moreover, our invited speakers list brings together senior and junior scholars, natural and social scientists, and those working in university and government settings on academic research and applied management. The symposium is supported by the European Council for the Conservation of Fungi, and the International Society for Fungal Conservation.
- Best practice for engaging volunteers in biodiversity monitoring and citizen science projects now and in the future Liz Humphreys
- The symposium will demonstrate a range of best practices from the experiences of organisations that involve volunteers in citizen science projects and the long-term monitoring of biodiversity. Presentations have been selected to cover the breadth of issues involved in establishing and running such programmes, from appropriate survey design and data capture software, through training and quality control of information submitted, to retention of volunteers and the potential contribution of up and coming technological developments. We believe that this topic is important and significant to the ECCB for a number of reasons: 1) Traditional funding sources for scientific research are frequently unable to provide sufficient resources and commitment to the long-term monitoring of biodiversity that is required for conservation purposes. 2) As a result, scientific survey information collected by volunteer observers provides the majority of long-term monitoring information that has underpinned conservation decision-making and the meeting of statutory conservation objectives across Europe for many decades. Yet there is still widespread misunderstanding concerning the ‘quality’ of the science that volunteers can deliver. Demonstrating and sharing best practice in the design of rigorous scientific data collection, training of volunteer observers, and validation/quality control of information is thus important. 3) In the current climate of financial austerity, governments are increasingly looking to volunteers to further help fill gaps in scientific knowledge, such that new volunteer-based initiatives are appearing or being planned across Europe and further afield. It has never been more important to use the funding available for such initiatives efficiently, so there is a need to avoid as far as possible ‘re-inventing any wheels’ and to find pathways of sharing experience and best practice. 4) We are also in a climate of rapidly evolving technologies, with an increasing emphasis on on-line data capture and ‘remote’ collection of observations (e.g. via mobile phones). There is much potential in this area to increase the quality and quantity of information that can be collected by volunteers but also risks that a proliferation of poorly designed schemes and software will dilute the high quality ones.
- HUNTing for sustainable conservation Justin Irvine
- Conservation of species and habitats has generally focussed on applying a top-down regulatory approach aimed at protection. Approaches often include designation of protected areas, legislation to prevent species removal or habitat degradation. These approaches often list activities and management practices that are banned yet rarely promote or incentivise positive management. In recognition that most conservation has to take place in landscapes used by people this symposia will investigate how the cultures and traditions of land-use lead to the management practices that affect species viability and the conservation of habitats and biodiversity. The focus for the symposia will be on hunting (in the broadest sense) because it is an activity of and economic and social importance in most cultures and has consequences for conservation. Talks will aim to illustrate the cultural and institutional barriers to developing more sustainable management practices for conservation including the direct effects of hunting on quarry species as well how hunting and other land-use objectives interact to affect conservation. The symposia will be based on a combination of invited speakers associated with the HUNTing for Sustainability FP7 project and talks from other studies where an interdisciplinary approach and engagement with stakeholders has provided valuable insights into reviewing how we understand conflicts over conservation of biodiversity in landscapes on which people depend.
- Restoring the natural values of northern conifer forests: Approaches and targets in a time of global change Bengt Gunnar Jonsson
- Global forest statistics picture a positive status and a trend of increasing forest cover in Northern regions – especially in comparison with temperate and tropical forests at lower and southern latitudes. However, the statistics fail to capture the qualitative changes going on within the forest landscapes. After centuries of commercial and industrial forestry, profound changes in the structure, composition and the dynamic processes have occurred. Forests are simplified into even-aged monocultures, natural disturbances are lost, cultivated and foreign plant material is used replacing natural regeneration, and old and dead trees are more or less absent. This has caused large numbers of forest species to decline and threatens forest biodiversity and function. To mediate this, attempts to alter forest management and to introduce new management of protected areas have been suggested. These restoration activities differ from reforestation where barren ground is transferred into forests. How to utilize and take advantage of the remaining forest components and choosing efficient methods are open questions where ongoing research might provide important parts of the answer. It would therefore be valuable to collect a number of presentations from Northern latitudes reporting on both the structural changes that have taken place, ongoing restoration activities and visions for the future. Global changes in land use and climate pose specific challenges for restoration since they question what target restoration should have – the historical landscape, present understanding on ecosystem function and processes or an anticipated future.
- Applying citizen science generated species occurrence data in ecology and conservation research Mari Jönsson, Tord Snall
- Citizen science biodiversity data, generated by members of the public, volunteers, and other agencies, are increasingly collected in faunal and floral databases across Europe in national species databases, the European LifeWatch, and the Global Biodiversity Facility. In the Swedish Species Gateway, over five million species records are collected annually. Additional historical species occurrence data are collected in natural history museums. The ever-increasing accessibility of species’ occurrence databases, recent internet advances in areas such as social media, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical quantification of species–environment relationships is making possible novel applications of species occurrence data in fields as diverse as ecology, evolutionary sciences and conservation. As the field advances it is necessary to evaluate the role and potential of synthesizing, analyzing and publishing citizen science generated species occurrence data in various scientific fields.
- Threats of pollinator decline over Europe: ecological and economical perspectives Alexandra Maria Klein, Anikó Kovács, Yael Mandelik
- Pollinator populations, especially those of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) seem to be in decline worldwide. This causes concerns among scientists and the general public as they provide important pollination services for wild and cultivated plants. The most recent estimates suggest that animal-mediated pollination is required for successful reproduction of 70-90% of angiosperm species and their decline may negatively affect yield of 75% crop species being important at global markets. Causal connection between extinctions of functionally linked wild plant and pollinator species has been already shown, while managed honeybees such as Apis mellifera will most likely not fully replace the functional role of wild bees. One of the major threats for wild bees and pollination services is the intensification of agricultural production causing considerable environmental changes both at local and landscape scales, such as increased chemical applications, the reduction of complementary foraging sources from wild bloom, and the expansion of bioenergy crops in agricultural landscapes. The lack or limited number of pollinators and the competition between plants to receive high quantity and quality of pollination services may affect pollination success, resulting in less, smaller or misshapen fruits and seeds. These effects have considerable ecological and economical consequences. The aim of the symposium is to present a compilation of current knowledge on the multiple environmental threats to wild and managed bee species and its impact on pollination services, and the gaps of information we are still facing. Several key areas such as environmental variables shaping pollinator communities and pollination networks, effects of expanding oilseed rape fields, the role and management problems of honeybees and methods to evaluate the economic consequences of pollinator loss will be discussed.
- Wilderness at the edge of survival in Europe Zoltán Kun
- Wilderness protection is gathering momentum in the European political arena. The European Parliament adopted a special report on wilderness in February 2009, which was followed by the European Commission developing an Agenda for Wilderness in May 2009. These led to the inclusion of wilderness in the new EU Biodiversity Strategy. However there are still various open scientific questions on wilderness and biodiversity that need to be addressed in order for the implementation of sound wilderness policies in Europe: 1) What are the ecosystem services and benefits that humans obtain for wilderness areas? 2) What is the potential contribution of wilderness protection to reduce biodiversity loss, halt species extinctions and support biodiversity restoration in Europe? 3) What is the social perception of wilderness in different countries and across different sectors of society (e.g. farmers versus urban dwellers). 4)What should be considered wilderness in a densely population country such as Europe? Do we need a plastic definition of wilderness? PAN Parks Foundation as the main organiser of the suggested symposia is the European wilderness protection organisation. The foundation started to develop a Wilderness Research Agenda for Europe The symposia will bring together speakers from the natural and social sciences working on key research questions for wilderness policies.
- Conservation Genetic Applications Ross McEwing
- In this symposium on conservation genetics applications we will seek to 1. explore the cutting edge technological and methodological developments in the field and 2. explore the reality of using genetic information to support conservation projects. The first theme introduced by Mike Bruford, will focus on cutting edge developments in the field of conservation genetics & genomics. Under this theme will favour speakers who are presenting on newly developed laboratory and analytical tools for conservation genetic application. The second theme introduced by Rob Ogden, the reality of integrating conservation genetic data with on-the-ground conservation projects will be examined. Here we are specifically interested in encouraging speakers who will present case studies where genetic information is being actively used to support in-situ and ex-situ conservation management. This symposium is designed to be complementary to the workshop on “applications of genetics and genomics in conservation planning” organized by the ConGRESS project.
- European Agri - environment schemes: updating the knowledge base Tony Morris, Kirsty Park
- Due to high rates of loss, birds (the European Farmland Bird Index is at its lowest recorded level: http://www.ebcc.info/), other taxa and habitats associated with farmland are high conservation priorities in many European countries. Agri-environment schemes (AES) are often seen as the best means of halting these declines. However, previous studies indicate that delivery for biodiversity has been mixed. Kleijn et al. (2006) in a review of AES in five European countries found marginal to moderately positive effects but that uncommon species rarely benefited. Other studies have shown targeted approaches to delivering AES advice and management for rare species can be very effective, while less targeted AES are often less successful in delivering biodiversity benefits. Over the past decade, AES has continued to expand and evolve. All EU-27 countries and Switzerland now have AES, totalling at least 88 different operational schemes in 2010. While many AES remain poorly defined and resourced, in some cases proliferation in the number and uptake of AES has been accompanied by greater targeting (of habitats, regions or species) or complexity (two-tier “broad & shallow” and “narrow & deep” approaches) and systematic monitoring. Results from such evaluations are critical in updating knowledge of whether, and what types of, schemes and constituent measures deliver demonstrable local benefits, and how adaptive management and targeting of resources can be used to improve performance. New research is also beginning to consider emerging issues, such as whether AES can successfully deliver benefits simultaneously for biodiversity and ecosystems services, and whether local effects of AES contribute to policy objectives of halting biodiversity decline at the national / international level. Such new and ongoing scientific developments, coupled with the current process of reforming EU agricultural policy and expenditure makes AES delivery an important and highly relevant topic to scientists and policy-makers alike.
- Biodiversity distribution atlases: past, present and future uses in conservation and science David Noble
- This symposium will explore and demonstrate the value of biodiversity distribution atlases in addressing a range of conservation and ecological issues. Presentations have been selected to demonstrate the role that distribution atlases have played in documenting the impact of key environmental and anthropogenic drivers of change in biodiversity, in particular changes in land use and climate. We will also highlight novel developments in spatial modelling methods and analysis underway across Europe using examples from a range of taxa, and how these methods have been used to address particular conservation problems. The last talk will focus on an European Bird Census Council-led collaboration of national bird monitoring organisations across Europe to capture, collate and combine distribution records for birds and produce a comprehensive new European Breeding Bird Atlas, a valuable future tool for assessing change in avifaunal communities across Europe and potentially an indicator of broader changes in biodiversity.
- The emergence of scales in conservation biology: toward better matching between conservation policy and the scales of ecological processes Guy Pe'er, Reinhard Klenke
- The various pressures imposed on biodiversity by human activities differ from each other not only in terms of their impact on biodiversity but also in terms of their characteristic scale. When considering the scale of ecological processes, and seeking solutions to pressures, one must therefore address the question how socio-economic processes act, and how conservation policy is designed. When conservation policy and management do not match the processes that they are designed to counteract, our efforts may be futile. For instance, local management to support the reintroduction of a lost species is doomed to fail without securing connectivity on a larger scale, or ensuring habitat availability on an even larger scale. The issue of scale is increasingly addressed by some leading scientists, particularly within the EU FP7 project “SCALES” which seeks to improve our understanding of the scale dependence of ecological processes and build the issue of scale into policy and decision-making in biodiversity management. The goal of the symposium is to provide a forum for the exchange of new advances and ideas on science and conservation of biodiversity across different scales. Specifically it has three main aims: 1. to raise awareness to the critical need of considering scales in conservation research, management and policy design, in order to ensure that conservation efforts act cooperatively and synergistically and at appropriate scales; 2. to bring novel findings within the emerging field of understanding scales; and 3. to invoke a discussion on the future of conservation policy and management in Europe, considering the current mismatches in scale between conservation needs and actions.
- Application and impacts of evidence - based conservation Andrew Pullin
- Although evidence-based practice is now widespread in many sectors such as health, education, social welfare and international development, it is still little used and poorly supported in the environmental sector, including conservation. This might seem surprising as there are many serious environmental problems and very limited resources with which to address them. An evidence base to inform decision making on likely outcomes of alternative investment in programmes and interventions might seem helpful and even necessary. A comparison with other sectors shows that the environmental sector has lacked the co-ordinating structures to enable progress toward an evidence-based culture. Evidence-based practice is not widely employed or valued by conservation organisations, both governmental and non-governmental but there are signs that demands from society and high-level policy are driving the formation of top-down structures for applying evidence-based principles (e.g. IPBES). At the same time a bottom-up movement has developed in the form of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE) in which scientists and practitioners engage in evidence synthesis on issues of concern to decision making in policy and management. In previous SCB meetings, both plenary speakers and symposium sessions have advocated evidence-based approaches to conservation. This symposium will take the process one step forward and explore both the theoretical and demonstrated application and impacts of evidence-based conservation. It will debate the cultural and institutional needs of evidence-based practice in the sector and the developments required to increase its use in decision making. Finally it will seek to identify the main actors in further developing an evidence base for conservation.
- Agricultural land abandonment and effects on social-ecological systems Regina Lindborg, Henrique Pereira
- The abandonment of agricultural landscapes is an increasing trend in western nations. Abandonment is mostly concentrated to marginal areas with harsh environments and ageing populations. The loss of traditional agriculture in such transition landscapes is generally considered to be of major concern since can be associated with loss of biodiversity, cultural heritage and particular ecosystem services. In this symposium we discuss and examine different aspects of abandonment and contrast different management options for these areas like promoting traditional agriculture vs rewilding. The effect on social- and ecological systems through space and time will be scrutinized for example by analysing global and local drivers and their link to changes in management practices, biodiversity and social structures. Case studies from different parts of the world will be presented.
- Invasive Species - Blurring the edge in conservation Billy Sinclair, Xavier Lambin
- Non-native plants, animals and micro-organisms have been introduced to different countries and ecosystems accidentally or deliberately over several millennia. Many non-native species have a positive impact on the country’s economy, such as wheat in agriculture, Sitka spruce in forestry or the pheasant in the game industry. A small minority of non-native species have, due to a range of different factors, become invasive. Such invasive species also affect economic interests particularly within agriculture, horticulture and forestry, but have an increasing threat impacting on marine ecosystems and it’s associated industries. Recently, the incidence of species becoming invasive, as opposed to remaining non-native, is increasing and we need to have a good understanding of these events and their management within the context of conserving native biodiversity as their ecological impacts are difficult to quantify and equally difficult to reverse.
- European BiodivERsA Research: joining hands across Europe and across disciplines Per Sjögren-Gulve, Frederic Lemaitre, Xavier Le Roux
- BiodivERsA aims to establish a sustained partnership across Europe that allows national research funders to identify and collaborate on biodiversity and ecosystems research that is best done on a European scale. This has applications in conservation and sustainable management, and is inclusive of social science, economics and stakeholder needs. The BiodivERsA partnership was established in 2006 with funding from the EU ERA-Net process; 21 organisations from 15 countries now participate. BiodivERsA has already launched two major research calls, with a total funding allocation of over 25 M€. The calls focus on linking scientific advancement to policy and practice and ecosystem services and include 19 projects in all. The projects vary from terrestrial to marine research, and address issues from land-use change to climate change to non-native species. Twelve projects began in 2008 and will be completed in 2012 and seven projects were started in 2010; this gives BiodivERsA and its research participants the opportunity to clearly demonstrate the value of a multi-national and multi-disciplinary approach to biodiversity research. BiodivERsA wishes to share the results of its projects with the wider biodiversity conservation research community and sees the 3rd ECCB as a key opportunity to do this. The symposium will provide an overview of the ERA-NET, project presentations and allow time for discussion.
- Ecological Networks: on the edge of sciences and politics Nikolay Sobolev
- The programme of work on protected areas under the convention on biological diversity states the target of establishing a coherent system of protected areas integrated in wide land- and seascapes. The countries of the Pan-European region input in achieving such a target by establishing the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN) in line with the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy. The European Convention on the Conservation of the European and Natural Habitats constitutes the Emerald Network of the Areas of Special Conservation Interest those should be Core Aras of the PEEN. A lot of various international, regional and national conservation instruments should synergise in PEEN establishing. In fact the implementation of ecological networks sometimes apply on the topographic configuration of landscape patches with no taking enough into consideration biogeographical aspects of the territorial conservation. Several countries would like to change the borders of the biogeographical regions in order to simplify econet planning. The symposium will clarify some biogeographical problems of the econet creation or at least correctly formulate questions.
- Landscape scale conservation Claire Stevenson, Kevin Watts
- The first studies of landscape scale conservation were derived from MacArthur and Wilson theory of island biogeography. This theory was used to explain the occurrence of species on islands and later islands of habitat fragments. Since then the functional connectivity of habitat fragments has received attention and has lead to the landscape been seen as habitat and surrounding land cover types that will either impede or facilitate species movements and dispersal. Today studies focus on different aspects of landscape scale conservation from functional connectivity, populations, geographical, geographical information systems, policy and cultural perspectives, to name a few. The talks in this symposium are given by leading researchers in this field. Talks will be giving from UK, European and International perspectives giving a variety of information.
- Global biodiversity scenarios to inform environmental policies Piero Visconti, Carlo Rondinini, Thomas Brooks, Beng-Gunnar Jonsson
- The aim of this symposium is twofold: first, to introduce to SCB delegates the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, also dubbed "the IPCC for biodiversity and ecosystem services"); second, to describe some of the current efforts to model and predict the effect of global policy change on biodiversity. The two aims are intertwined because the main goal of IBPES is to prioritize and collect the research needed to inform global decisions on biodiversity and ecosystem services-related policy. The goals and organization of IPBES will the topic of the first talk.
- Land sparing versus land sharing - a European perspective (New) Andras Baldi, Tibor Hartel
- Land sparing versus land sharing - a European perspective András Báldi, Tibor Hartel One of the hottest debates (Phalan et al., 2011; Fischer et al., 2011) in recent conservation is on how to allocate land uses to fulfil both production needs of the society, and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Two opposing approaches are evident: the land sparing and the land sharing. In land sparing, some land is farmed intensively to maximize production while other land is left entirely alone and managed only for the benefit of biodiversity, as a nature reserve. In land sharing, all the land in a region is farmed, but using nature friendly techniques, allowing the existence of high level of biodiversity, and related ecosystem services, however, on the cost of yield and production. Agri-environment and similar payments in the EU, and other European countries invest billions of euros each year into this kind of land use. The aim of this symposium is to align arguments for these opposing land uses from various committed experts of the fields.
Phalan B, Onial M, Balmford A, Green RE. (2011). Science 333: 1289-1291.
Fischer J, Batáry P, et al. (2011). Science 334: 593.
- Alpine ecosystems: Platforms for study and conservation of unique habitats and species living in the edge conditions (New) Robert Kanka, Lubos Halada
- Alpine ecosystems represent isolated pockets of plant and animal diversity, hosting - despite exposed to harsh environmental conditions - high number of endemic, threatened and rare species.
Alpine climate has changed during last decades and the future changes are foreseen to be even larger. Besides climate change, alpine ecosystems are highly impacted also by atmospheric pollution, land use changes and allien species invasion. The development of observational and experimental networks represents a powerful tool for alpine ecosystems monitoring and for obtaining knowledge about their reaction to environmental pressures. The use of robust and detailed methodological approaches and standardized protocols should lead to comprehensive monitoring and research and provide necessary information on the world-wide level.
The practical and effective conservation requires high-quality scientific knowledge as an essential basis for decision making, thus the dialogue between researchers dealing with alpine ecosystems and national or regional nature conservation bodies belong to the crucial conditions of maintenance and preservation of alpine biodiversity.
The purpose of symposium is to contribute to understanding of processes and factors affecting alpine ecosystems and their biodiversity, ecosystem services, summarize current knowledge and confront available results of research with biodiversity scenarios for the 21st century, which consistently forecast massive reduction of alpine habitat and consequent threat of plant and animal populations bound to alpine habitats.
- Thematic Poster - Econics: systemics, sustainability and conservation Pierre Ibisch & Peter Hobson
- Bionics can be defined as the mimicking of biological structures and processes in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of modern technologies. In a similar context, Econics may also be defined as an analogous transdisciplinary approach to sustainability, working to the hypothesis that natural ecosystems provide a valuable template for the development of socio-economic systems. Specifically, it focuses on the analysis and replication of ecosystem efficiency and adaptive evolution under continual and unpredictable environmental change. Econics embraces principles taken from a diverse spectrum of existing disciplines and approaches that mimic ecosystem processes and functions. For instance, it includes recycling or adaptive change; concepts of adaptive management used in conservation; approaches adopted in industrial ecology; and theories of close-to-nature forestry. This Thematic Poster Exhibition will introduce the general concept of econics, its principles, methods and especially its application to biodiversity conservation. The contributions will cover theoretical and conceptual principles underpinning the subject as well as the application of complex systems thinking to conservation practice at different scales, within and beyond the boundaries of protected areas. Particular focus will be given to the approaches taken in adaptive management that actively integrates all forms of conservation-relevant non-knowledge, for example, uncertain vulnerability against change and risks for system sustainability. Another important field of “econical” conservation is the orientation towards thermodynamically efficient systems. It explains how principles of thermodynamics can be transferred to the assessment of ecosystems, and how then this may be applied to conservation priority-setting. Thermodynamic signatures of ecosystems can be used in various land use practices such as close-to-nature forestry under the influence of climate change. Cases studies draw on results from research in Europe (e.g., Carpathians, Germany, UK) and tropical regions.
- Bioenergy and biodiversity Pierre L. Ibisch, Martin Dieterich, Rainer Luick, Edward Mwavu, Folaranmi Babalola
- Symposia Outline
In the quest to fight global climate change, the European Union and EU member states have identified ambitious targets for renewable energy (solar, wind, water, biomass). Frequently, transition towards renewable energy triggers additional short-term threats to biodiversity. Biomass use and production for the energy sector imposes new demands on the productivity of agricultural and forest land resulting in the further intensification of land-use. This includes the continued and accelerated loss of semi natural habitats or important structural components of ecosystems (e.g. dead wood). On the other hand, biomass production for the energy sector may encompass opportunities for the diversification of crops and crop rotations and associated diversification of biota, provided legal or funding conditions are set accordingly. This is particularly important as the new structure of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is being defined.
Land use changes resulting from increased demands for renewable energy – and biomass in particular - are not restricted to Europe. Rather, the EU and other countries continue to export demands for energetic resources and thus land to other regions, including Africa. The ecological and socio-economic effects of land grabbing and associated direct or indirect land use changes in the target regions outside Europe can be particularly dramatic.
This symposium jointly organized by the Europe and Africa Sections of the SCB will focus on threats and opportunities imposed on biodiversity by the necessary shift towards renewable energy, with a special emphasis on biomass. It will point out undesired developments and try to outline routes for renewable energy production in accordance with targets relating to the protection of biodiversity, especially referring to policy and case-studies in Europe and Africa.
2 hours (4 contributions + discussion)