Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Red List developed for threatened ecosystems

Date:
May 8, 2013
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new Red List system for identifying ecosystems at high risk of degradation, similar to the influential Red List for the world's threatened species.

UNSW scientists have led the development of a new Red List system for identifying ecosystems at high risk of degradation, similar to the influential Red List for the world's threatened species.

Related Articles


The team carrying out the research was convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and led by Professor David Keith, of the University of New South Wales and the NSW Office of Environment.

The study, which illustrates how the framework for risk assessment applies to 20 ecosystems around the world, including eight in Australia, is published today in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS ONE.

Professor Keith, of UNSW's Australian Wetlands, Rivers and Landscapes Centre, AWRLC, said that ecosystems around the globe are facing unprecedented threats. This affects biodiversity and -- increasingly -- the services that living organisms provide to people, including clean water, and agricultural and fisheries production.

"This is one of the world's most significant conservation challenges and we really need a better system for understanding the risks to the world's ecosystems, so that we can make more informed decisions about sustainable environmental management. "Now, for the first time, we have a consistent method for identifying the most threatened ecosystems across land, freshwater and ocean environments," said Professor Keith.

One of the authors, Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the AWRLC said: "The most encouraging thing about this initiative is that it focuses attention on the habitats of our biodiversity. We can see it applying to the hundreds, or even thousands, of species that might live in an ecosystem."

The method evaluates multiple symptoms of risk produced by different processes of ecosystem degradation.

"Changes in the distribution of an ecosystem, its physical environment and its component species can each tell us something different about the severity of risks, and these symptoms can now be assessed in standard ways across different types of ecosystems," said Professor Keith.

The new system is flexible, enabling it to handle a range of different sources of information, depending on the specific processes driving degradation of each ecosystem.

The PLoS study illustrates the implementation of the framework using 20 case studies encompassing rainforests, wetlands, coral reefs and other major global ecosystems.

"This is a major breakthrough for the challenge of managing ecosystems more sustainably. We will be able to apply it across global, national and state boundaries for consistent state of environment reporting," said Dr Emily Nicholson, of the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions at the University of Melbourne, a co-author of the study.

Dr Jon Paul Rodriguez, at Centro de Ecología, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Venezuela, joint leader of the project for IUCN, organised an extensive international consultation process to build a strong conceptual framework for risk assessment that is well grounded in the practicalities of different ecosystems around the world.

He said the framework was a critical step towards the development of a world view of our environment and all its ecosystems, which IUCN is aiming to complete by 2025.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David A. Keith, Jon Paul Rodríguez, Kathryn M. Rodríguez-Clark, Emily Nicholson, Kaisu Aapala, Alfonso Alonso, Marianne Asmussen, Steven Bachman, Alberto Basset, Edmund G. Barrow, John S. Benson, Melanie J. Bishop, Ronald Bonifacio, Thomas M. Brooks, Mark A. Burgman, Patrick Comer, Francisco A. Comín, Franz Essl, Don Faber-Langendoen, Peter G. Fairweather, Robert J. Holdaway, Michael Jennings, Richard T. Kingsford, Rebecca E. Lester, Ralph Mac Nally, Michael A. McCarthy, Justin Moat, María A. Oliveira-Miranda, Phil Pisanu, Brigitte Poulin, Tracey J. Regan, Uwe Riecken, Mark D. Spalding, Sergio Zambrano-Martínez. Scientific Foundations for an IUCN Red List of Ecosystems. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e62111 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062111

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "New Red List developed for threatened ecosystems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172142.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2013, May 8). New Red List developed for threatened ecosystems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172142.htm
University of New South Wales. "New Red List developed for threatened ecosystems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130508172142.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

AP (Feb. 26, 2015) — A new winter storm is stretching across the south, making travel treacherous throughout the region. (Feb. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) — The freezing temperatures that have plagued much of the eastern U.S. haven&apos;t spared New York City. The waterways around the island of Manhattan are filled with ice. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) — Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia surveyed severe flood damage in the northern province of Pando, as people were evacuated from partially submerged houses by boat. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins