Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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Browsing Gund Institute for Ecological Economics by Title

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  • Sanders, J. G.; Beichman, A. C.; Roman, J.; Scott, J. J.; Emerson, D.; McCarthy, J. J.; Girguis, P. R. (Nature CommunicationsNat. Commun., 2015
      Mammals host gut microbiomes of immense physiological consequence, but the determinants of diversity in these communities remain poorly understood. Diet appears to be the dominant factor, but host phylogeny also seems to be an important, if unpredictable, correlate. Here we show that baleen whales, which prey on animals (fish and crustaceans), harbor unique gut microbiomes with surprising parallels in functional capacity and higher level taxonomy to those of terrestrial herbivores. These similarities likely reflect a shared role for fermentative metabolisms despite a shift in primary carbon sources from plant-derived to animal-derived polysaccharides, such as chitin. In contrast, protein catabolism and essential amino acid synthesis pathways in baleen whale microbiomes more closely resemble those of terrestrial carnivores. Our results demonstrate that functional attributes of the microbiome can vary independently even given an animal-derived diet, illustrating how diet and evolutionary history combine to shape microbial diversity in the mammalian gut.
  • Danks, C. M. (International Forestry Review, 2009
      Community-based forestry (CBF) in the US involves a diversity of activities that cat) Occur on public or private lands, and extends beyond land ownership and management into the processing and marketing of forest products and services. Like CBF in many other parts of the world, it shares the interdependent goals of achieving ecological health and social well-being. Actual benefits achieved through CBF are not yet well documented in the literature. This paper illustrates the diversity of CBF activities in the US through the participating projects of the Ford Foundation's Community-Based Forestry Demonstration Program and examines programme Outcomes with attention given to the conditions under which benefits accrue to poor and marginalised people. The discussion reflects on the importance of looking at institutional change as well as project level benefits when assessing environmental and social outcomes.
  • De Groot, R. S.; Blignaut, J.; van der Ploeg, S.; Aronson, J.; Elmqvist, T.; Farley, J. (Conservation Biology, 2013
      Measures aimed at conservation or restoration of ecosystems are often seen as net-cost projects by governments and businesses because they are based on incomplete and often faulty cost-benefit analyses. After screening over 200 studies, we examined the costs (94 studies) and benefits (225 studies) of ecosystem restoration projects that had sufficient reliable data in 9 different biomes ranging from coral reefs to tropical forests. Costs included capital investment and maintenance of the restoration project, and benefits were based on the monetary value of the total bundle of ecosystem services provided by the restored ecosystem. Assuming restoration is always imperfect and benefits attain only 75% of the maximum value of the reference systems over 20 years, we calculated the net present value at the social discount rates of 2% and 8%. We also conducted 2 threshold cum sensitivity analyses. Benefit-cost ratios ranged from about 0.05:1 (coral reefs and coastal systems, worst-case scenario) to as much as 35:1 (grasslands, best-case scenario). Our results provide only partial estimates of benefits at one point in time and reflect the lower limit of the welfare benefits of ecosystem restoration because both scarcity of and demand for ecosystem services is increasing and new benefits of natural ecosystems and biological diversity are being discovered. Nonetheless, when accounting for even the incomplete range of known benefits through the use of static estimates that fail to capture rising values, the majority of the restoration projects we analyzed provided net benefits and should be considered not only as profitable but also as high-yielding investments.
  • Vermeulen, S. J.; Wollenberg, E. K. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011
  • Ali, S. (Issues in Science and Technology, 2009
  • Wollenberg, E.; Moeliono, M.; Limberg, G.; Iwan, R.; Rhee, S.; Sudana, M. (Forest Policy and Economics, 2006
      Decentralization in post-Soeharto Indonesia has not only changed state and society relations at the local level, but brought increased control over forests at the district level. Local social forces gained more influence because of their close relations with local government and acted to limit the local government. In this article we use the case of Malinau, East Kalimantan Indonesia to show how the new local autonomy over forests played a role in the rise of new local political orders. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Higgins, J. V.; Ricketts, T. H.; Parrish, J. D.; Dinerstein, E.; Powell, G.; Palminteri, S.; Hoekstra, J. M.; Morrison, J.; Tomasek, A.; Adams, J. (Conservation Biology, 2004
  • Sharma, S.; Hart, S. L. (Organization & EnvironmentOrgan. Environ., 2014
      Revisiting the historical evolution of the corporation helps explain how the challenge of sustainability has been addressed in business education. Business schools emerged toward the end of the 19th century after U.S. Supreme Court judgments absolved corporate directors from the duty of adhering to social missions embodied in their limited liability charters. This coincided with the rise of neoclassical economics that placed shareholdersabove other stakeholders. As evolving societal demands have forced businesses to consider business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability in their performance, and as AACSB has added these learning objectives, business schools have reactively responded by adding new courses to their existing curricula. However, these "saddle-bag" approaches do not integrate the topics into the core functional areas of business. Only recently have a few business schools boldly overcome organizational inertia to develop curricula that lead practice by embedding sustainability into the core to educate managers who can rise to the demands of the global sustainability challenges facing the world in the 21(st) century.
  • Ali, S. H. (International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2006
  • Grand, J.; Cummings, M. P.; Rebelo, T. G.; Ricketts, T. H.; Neel, M. C. (Ecology Letters, 2007
      Complementarity-based reserve selection algorithms efficiently prioritize sites for biodiversity conservation, but they are data-intensive and most regions lack accurate distribution maps for the majority of species. We explored implications of basing conservation planning decisions on incomplete and biased data using occurrence records of the plant family Proteaceae in South Africa. Treating this high-quality database as 'complete', we introduced three realistic sampling biases characteristic of biodiversity databases: a detectability sampling bias and two forms of roads sampling bias. We then compared reserve networks constructed using complete, biased, and randomly sampled data. All forms of biased sampling performed worse than both the complete data set and equal-effort random sampling. Biased sampling failed to detect a median of 1-5% of species, and resulted in reserve networks that were 9-17% larger than those designed with complete data. Spatial congruence and the correlation of irreplaceability scores between reserve networks selected with biased and complete data were low. Thus, reserve networks based on biased data. require more area to protect fewer species and identify different locations than those selected with randomly sampled or complete data.
  • Ricketts, T.; Brooks, T. M.; Hoffmann, M.; Stuart, S.; Balmford, A.; Purvis, A.; Reyers, B.; Wang, J.; Revenga, C.; Kennedy, E. T.; Naeem, S.; Alkemade, R.; Allnutt, T. F.; Bakaar, M.; Bond, W.; Chanson, J.; Cox, N.; Fonseca, G.; Hilton-Taylor, C.; Loucks, C.; Rodrigues, A.; Sechrest, W.; Stattersfield, A.; van Rensvurg, B. J.; Whiteman, C. (Island Press, Washiington, D. C..Washiington, D. C., 2005
  • Costanza, R.; Fisher, B.; Mulder, K.; Liu, S.; Christopher, T. (Ecological Economics, 2007
      Biodiversity (BD) and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) are intricately linked in complex ecosystems such that a change in the state of one of these variables can be expected to have an impact on the other. Using multiple regression analysis at the site and ecoregion scales in North America, we estimated relationships between BD (using plant species richness as a proxy) and NPP (as a proxy for ecosystem services). At the site scale, we found that 57% of the variation in NPP was correlated with variation in BD after effects of temperature and precipitation were accounted for. At the ecoregion scale, 3 temperature ranges were found to be important. At low temperatures (-2.1 degrees C average) BD was negatively correlated with NPP. At mid-temperatures (5.3 degrees C average) there was no correlation. At high temperatures (13 degrees C average) BD was positively correlated with NPP, accounting for approximately 26% of the variation in NPP after effects of temperature and precipitation were accounted for. The general conclusion of positive links between BD and ecosystem functioning from earlier experimental results in micro and mesocosms was qualified by our results, and strengthened at high temperature ranges. Our results can also be linked to estimates of the total value of ecosystem services to derive an estimate of the value of the biodiversity contribution to these services. We tentatively conclude from this that a 1% change in BD in the high temperature range (which includes most of the world's BD) corresponds to approximately a 1/2% change in the value of ecosystem services. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Pongsiri, M. J.; Roman, J.; Ezenwa, V. O.; Goldberg, T. L.; Koren, H. S.; Newbold, S. C.; Ostfeld, R. S.; Pattanayak, S. K.; Salkeld, D. J. (Bioscience, 2009
      Changes in the type and prevalence of human diseases have occurred during shifts in human social organization, for example, from hunting and gathering to agriculture and with urbanization during the Industrial Revolution. The recent emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases appears to be driven by globalization and ecological disruption. We propose that habitat destruction and biodiversity loss associated with biotic homogenization can increase the incidence and distribution of infectious diseases affecting humans. The clearest connection between biotic homogenization and infectious disease is the spread of nonindigenous vectors and pathogens. The loss of predators and hosts that dilute pathogen transmission can also increase the incidence of vectorborne illnesses. Other mechanisms include enhanced abiotic conditions for pathogens and vectors and higher host-pathogen encounter rates. Improved understanding of these causal mechanisms can inform decisionmaking on biodiversity conservation as an effective way to protect human health.
  • Ricketts, T.; Imhoff, M. (2003
      Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species) with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four "priority sets" of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number) where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so) as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.
  • Adam, Jennifer C; Stephens, Jennie C; Chung, SerenaH; Brady, MichaelP; Evans, R. David; Kruger, ChadE; Lamb, BrianK; Liu, Mingliang; Stöckle, ClaudioO; Vaughan, JosephK; Rajagopalan, Kirti; Harrison, JohnA; Tague, ChristinaL; Kalyanaraman, Ananth; Chen, Yong; Guenther, Alex; Leung, Fok-Yan; Leung, L. Ruby; Perleberg, AndrewB; Yoder, Jonathan; Allen, Elizabeth; Anderson, Sarah; Chandrasekharan, Bhagyam; Malek, Keyvan; Mullis, Tristan; Miller, Cody; Nergui, Tsengel; Poinsatte, Justin; Reyes, Julian; Zhu, Jun; Choate, JanetS; Jiang, Xiaoyan; Nelson, Roger; Yoon, Jin-Ho; Yorgey, GeorgineG; Johnson, Kristen; Chinnayakanahalli, KiranJ; Hamlet, AlanF; Nijssen, Bart; Walden, Von (Climatic ChangeSpringer Netherlands, 2014
      As managers of agricultural and natural resources are confronted with uncertainties in global change impacts, the complexities associated with the interconnected cycling of nitrogen, carbon, and water present daunting management challenges. Existing models provide detailed information on specific sub-systems (e.g., land, air, water, and economics). An increasing awareness of the unintended consequences of management decisions resulting from interconnectedness of these sub-systems, however, necessitates coupled regional earth system models (EaSMs). Decision makers’ needs and priorities can be integrated into the model design and development processes to enhance decision-making relevance and “usability” of EaSMs. BioEarth is a research initiative currently under development with a focus on the U.S. Pacific Northwest region that explores the coupling of multiple stand-alone EaSMs to generate usable information for resource decision-making. Direct engagement between model developers and non-academic stakeholders involved in resource and environmental management decisions throughout the model development process is a critical component of this effort. BioEarth utilizes a bottom-up approach for its land surface model that preserves fine spatial-scale sensitivities and lateral hydrologic connectivity, which makes it unique among many regional EaSMs. This paper describes the BioEarth initiative and highlights opportunities and challenges associated with coupling multiple stand-alone models to generate usable information for agricultural and natural resource decision-making.
  • Littlefield, C. E.; Keeton, W. S. (Ecological Applications, 2012
      Demand for forest bioenergy fuel is increasing in the northern forest region of eastern North America and beyond, but ecological impacts, particularly on habitat, of bioenergy harvesting remain poorly explored in the peer-reviewed literature. Here, we evaluated the impacts of bioenergy harvests on stand structure, including several characteristics considered important for biodiversity and habitat functions. We collected stand structure data from 35 recent harvests in northern hardwood-conifer forests, pairing harvested areas with unharvested reference areas. Biometrics generated from field data were analyzed using a multi-tiered nonparametric uni- and multivariate statistical approach. In analyses comparing harvested to reference areas, sites that had been whole-tree harvested demonstrated significant differences (relative negative contrasts, P < 0.05) in snag density, large live-tree density, well-decayed downed coarse woody debris volume, and structural diversity index (H) values, while sites that had not been whole-tree harvested did not exhibit significant differences. Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses suggested that the strongest predictors of structural retention, as indicated by downed woody debris volumes and H index, were silvicultural treatment and equipment type rather than the percentage of harvested volume allocated to bioenergy uses. In general, bioenergy harvesting impacts were highly variable across the study sites, suggesting a need for harvesting guidelines aimed at encouraging retention of ecologically important structural attributes.
  • Gunn, J. S.; Ganz, D. J.; Keeton, W. S. (Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 2012
      In the current debate over the CO2 emissions implications of switching from fossil fuel energy sources to include a substantial amount of woody biomass energy, many scientists and policy makers hold the view that emissions from the two sources should not be equated. Their rationale is that the combustion or decay of woody biomass is simply part of the global cycle of biogenic carbon and does not increase the amount of carbon in circulation. This view is frequently presented as justification to implement policies that encourage the substitution of fossil fuel energy sources with biomass. We present the opinion that this is an inappropriate conceptual basis to assess the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting of woody biomass energy generation. While there are many other environmental, social, and economic reasons to move to woody biomass energy, we argue that the inferred benefits of biogenic emissions over fossil fuel emissions should be reconsidered.
  • Roman, J. (2006
  • Herendeen, R. A. (2004
      Observed stock changes in perturbed ecosystems sometimes, but not always, are smaller than predicted by the trophic cascade hypothesis. These varying outcomes can be explained by (1) using detailed analysis of trophic-level interactions within the standard energy-based linear food-chain model, or (2) invoking web models and/or non-energy interactions between organisms. Previously I developed an analytic approach for the linear chain for a press-type perturbation and applied it to ratio-dependent functional relationships. Here I extend the linear chain analysis to a more general functional relationship which allows independent variation of prey dependence and intra-level interference. I find that different combinations of prey dependence and interference lead to large or small cascading effects. Generally, large top-down effects require weak interference, while large bottom-up effects require both weak interference and strong prey dependence. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Wollenberg, E. K. (Environment and Planning AEnviron. Plan. A, 2003
      As people living near forests in many parts of the world receive recognition of resource-management rights, questions arise about where forest boundaries should be set and who should legitimately receive these rights. Drawing on research conducted among forest-dwelling Kenyah communities in Kalimantan, Indonesia, during 1995 to 1998, I show that the realization of resource rights must be understood in the social context of how boundaries are interpreted and negotiated. Access to and control over forest resources is as much a matter of boundary keeping as of boundary setting. The analysis shows that boundary keepers assessed whether someone should be given access based on the potential user's entitlement, identity, and the potential for exchange. Understanding the 'fuzziness' of how seemingly clear boundary rules are applied should provide a more realistic picture of how groups gain and control access to resources in practice.

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