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Tropical mammal functional diversity increases with productivity but decreases with anthropogenic disturbance

A variety of factors can affect the biodiversity of tropical mammal communities, but their relative importance and directionality remain uncertain. Previous global investigations of mammal functional diversity have relied on range maps instead of observational data to determine community composition.

Advancing Sustainable Development and Protected Area Management with Social Media‐Based Tourism Data

Sustainable tourism involves increasingly attracting visitors while preserving the natural capital of a destination for future generations. To foster tourism while protecting sensitive environ‐ ments, coastal managers, tourism operators, and other decision‐makers benefit from information about where tourists go and which aspects of the natural and built environment draw them to particular locations. Yet this information is often lacking at management‐relevant scales and in remote places. We tested and applied methods using social media as data on tourism in The Bahamas.

eDNA metabarcoding as a biomonitoring tool for marine protected areas

Monitoring of marine protected areas (MPAs) is critical for marine ecosystem management, yet current protocols rely on SCUBA-based visual surveys that are costly and time consuming, limiting their scope and effectiveness. Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is a promising alternative for marine ecosystem monitoring, but more direct comparisons to visual surveys are needed to understand the strengths and limitations of each approach.

An inventory of biodiversity data sources for conservation monitoring

Many conservation managers, policy makers, businesses and local communities cannot access the biodiversity data they need for informed decision-making on natural resource management. A handful of databases are used to monitor indicators against global biodiversity goals but there is no openly available consolidated list of global data sets to help managers, especially those in high-biodiversity countries. We therefore conducted an inventory of global databases of potential use in monitoring biodiversity states, pressures and conservation responses at multiple levels.

Essential indicators for measuring site-based conservation effectiveness in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Work on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is now well advanced andwill outline a vision, goals, and targets for the next decade of biodiversity conser-vation and beyond. For the effectiveness of Protected areas and Other Effectivearea-based Conservation Measures, an indicator has been proposed for “areasmeeting their documented ecological objectives.” However, the Convention onBiological Diversity (CBD) has not identified or agreed on what data shouldinform this indicator.

Mitochondrial DNA Profiling to Combat the Illegal Trade in Tortoiseshell Products

Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) are exploited for their beautiful shell known as tortoiseshell or bekko, making them extremely vulnerable in the illegal global trade of tortoiseshell products. In this study, we developed an effective, standardized method using a commercially available kit to extract DNA and obtain informative mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences (~800 bp) from hawksbill turtle products in order to trace the sample back to a likely stock origin.

How far have we come? A review of MPA network performance indicators in reaching qualitative elements of Aichi Target 11

Effective networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are explicitly recognized and called for in international biodiversity conservation strategies such as the Aichi Targets. While various indicators have been proposed to assess effectiveness of individual MPAs, no comprehensive set of indicators exists for MPA networks, particularly for Aichi Target 11. The qualitative elements of this target recognize the value of social, economic, governance, and ecological factors in achieving effective biodiversity conservation.

Occurrence and abundance of meso and microplastics in sediment, surface waters, and marine biota from the South Pacific region

Data on the occurrence and abundance of meso and microplastics for the South Pacific are limited and there is urgent need to fill this knowledge gap. The main aim of the study was to apply a rapid screening method, based on the fluorescence tagging of polymers using Nile red, to determine the concentration of meso and microplastics in biota, sediment and surface waters near the capital cities of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. A spatial investigation was carried out for sediment, biota and water as well as a temporal assessment for sediment for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018).

The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience

Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion.

Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and invertebrate species; and a major food source for endangered dugong, manatee, and green turtle.