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Ecosystems

The mission of this working group is to focus on discussions about ecosystems.

Members

John.R.Falco.VMD Kathy Gilbeaux Maeryn Obley mdmcdonald

Email address for group

ecosystems@m.resiliencesystem.org

Warning of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge in Insect Numbers

           

Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. Photograph: Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Plos One - More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas

theguardian.com - by Darian Carrington - October 18, 2017

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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Climate Change and Ecosystem Services in Sierra Leone

By Dr. Kolleh A Bangura

To assist Sierra Leone protected areas in building their resilience to climate change, the PARCC (Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change) project has assessed future climate impacts of land use change on ecosystem services in Sierra Leone. This includes applying five spatially detailed regional climate model projections developed for the project and scenarios of future land use change.

This article summarizes the main features of projected climate impacts on ecosystem services and their implications for focus project areas in Sierra Leone and future national planning. Findings from the latest annual assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are referred to in order to provide guidance on the way to interpret these results.

Climate Projections

The projections for mean annual temperature in Sierra Leone for the end of the 21st century are for significant increases (with very high confidence):

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At Climate Talks, African Nations Pledge to Restore Forests

         

FILE - In this Sunday, March 21, 2010 file photo, shafts of sunlight filtering through the forest canopy strike smoke from fires burning outside family huts at an Mbuti pygmy hunting camp in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve outside the town of Epulu, Congo. Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the U.N. climate change talks in Paris on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (Rebecca Blackwell,File/Associated Press)

CLICK HERE - World Resources Institute - African Countries Launch AFR100 to Restore 100 Million Hectares of Land

CLICK HERE - African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)

CLICK HERE - Global Landscapes Forum

washingtonpost.com - by Lynsey Chutel - December 6, 2015

JOHANNESBURG — Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the United Nations climate talks on Sunday.

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Study calls humans unsustainable “super predators”

A hunter in camoflauge, sitting next to another hunger, takes aim with a firearm.

Image: A hunter in camoflauge, sitting next to another hunger, takes aim with a firearm.

slashgear.com - August 21st, 2015 - Chris Burns

A ten-year study is published on "the unique ecology of human predators", showing mankind to be an unsustainable threat to all wildlife on our planet. This paper, authored by C. Darimont, C. Fox, H. Bryan, and T. Reimchen, compares the predatory patterns of humans to all other predators on the planet. They show that humans kill adult prey at a median rate up to 14 times higher than other predators, with "particularly intense exploitation" of terrestrial carnivores and fish.

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Today, Humanity Has Spent Our Planet's Budget for the Entire Year

                

Citizens of the Planet/UIG via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Marco Lambertini and Mathis Wackernagel - August 13, 2015

When a country plummets into a massive financial deficit, it attracts worldwide attention. Yet countries today are largely ignoring another form of overspending: their ecological deficits. This is putting economies and citizens alike at even more risk. 

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CLICK HERE - Ecological Footprint Accounting Tool

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Amazon Deforestation ‘Threshold’ Causes Species Loss to Accelerate

        

Corn plantation nearby remaining forest in the Amazon region.  Credit: Jose Manuel Ochoa-Quintero

One of the largest area studies of forest loss impacting biodiversity shows that a third of the Amazon is headed toward or has just past a threshold of forest cover below which species loss is faster and more damaging. Researchers call for conservation policy to switch from targeting individual landowners to entire regions.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH STUDY - Thresholds of species loss in Amazonian deforestation frontier landscapes

University of Cambridge - cam.ac.uk - March 4, 2015

One of the first studies to map the impact of deforestation on biodiversity across entire regions of the Amazon has found a clear ‘threshold’ for forest cover below which species loss becomes more rapid and widespread.    

By measuring the loss of a core tranche of dominant species of large and medium-sized mammals and birds, and using the results as a bellwether, the researchers found that for every 10% of forest loss, one to two major species are wiped out.

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Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet

(CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

As Science publishes the updated research, four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen). Image source: F. Pharand-Deschênes /Globaïa

stockholmresilience.org

Planetary Boundaries 2.0 – new and improved

As Science publishes the updated research, four of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed

Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science (16 January 2015). The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen).

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Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF

Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon Image:  Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon

theguardian.com - September 29th, 2014 - Damian Carrington

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

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Ebola Also Devastates Wild Ape Population

Mrithi, a 20-year-old male western lowland gorilla.

Steve Baragona - August 13, 2014 9:03 AM

One day in 1996, boys from a village in northern Gabon brought home a chimpanzee they found dead in the forest. The villagers butchered it for food.

That act set off an Ebola outbreak that killed 21 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Years later, on a reporting trip in Gabon, author David Quammen met two men from the village who were there during the outbreak.

At the time Ebola was ravaging their village and their families, they noticed something strange. In the forest nearby, 13 gorillas lay dead.

http://www.voanews.com/content/ebola-also-devastates-wild-ape-population/2411749.html

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Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health

submitted by Cheryl Stroud

nap.edu - Institute of Medicine. Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2014.

Authors

Rose Marie Martinez and Erin Rusch, Rapporteurs; Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice (BPH); Institute of Medicine (IOM)

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