Learning and the transformative potential of citizen science

Bela G., Peltola T., Young J.C., Balázs B., Arpin I., Pataki G., Hauck J., Kelemen E., Kopperoinen L., Van Herzele A., Keune H., Hecker S., Suškevičs M., Roy H.E., Itkonen P., Külvik M., László M., Basnou C., Pino J., Bonn A. (2016) Learning and the transformative potential of citizen science. Conservation Biology. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/cobi.12762

Resum:

The number of collaborative initiatives between scientists and volunteers (i.e., citizen science) is increasing across many research fields. The promise of societal transformation together with scientific breakthroughs contributes to the current popularity of citizen science (CS) in the policy domain. We examined the transformative capacity of citizen science in particular learning through environmental CS as conservation tool. We reviewed the CS and social-learning literature and examined 14 conservation projects across Europe that involved collaborative CS. We also developed a template that can be used to explore learning arrangements (i.e., learning events and materials) in CS projects and to explain how the desired outcomes can be achieved through CS learning. We found that recent studies aiming to define CS for analytical purposes often fail to improve the conceptual clarity of CS; CS programs may have transformative potential, especially for the development of individual skills, but such transformation is not necessarily occurring at the organizational and institutional levels; empirical evidence on simple learning outcomes, but the assertion of transformative effects of CS learning is often based on assumptions rather than empirical observation; and it is unanimous that learning in CS is considered important, but in practice it often goes unreported or unevaluated. In conclusion, we point to the need for reliable and transparent measurement of transformative effects for democratization of knowledge production. © 2016, Society for Conservation Biology.

Llegeix més

Examining the role of landscape structure and dynamics in alien plant invasion from urban Mediterranean coastal habitats

Basnou C., Iguzquiza J., Pino J. (2015) Examining the role of landscape structure and dynamics in alien plant invasion from urban Mediterranean coastal habitats. Landscape and Urban Planning. 136: 156-164.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.12.001

Resum:

This paper aims to disentangle the effects of both current landscape structure and recent land use-change on alien plant invasion in urban Mediterranean coastal habitats. Patches of four habitat types (rock outcrops, sand dunes, scrublands and forests) of different sizes and surrounding landscape compositions were selected along the coast of the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona (NE Spain). Attributes of habitat patches, historical (1956) and current landscape composition around them, land-cover changes (1956-2005) and other environmental and geographic factors within these patches were obtained. The association of these attributes with alien plant richness, abundance and composition was investigated using GLM and CCA. Alien species richness was mostly explained by patch size and shape and built-up area proportion from 1956 and 2005 in a 50. m buffer around patches. Alien species abundance was mostly related to patch shape, temperature, rainfall, land-cover changes within patches and cropland cover of 1956 in a 50. m buffer around patches. Alien species composition was primary related to habitat type, temperature, land-cover changes within patches and the composition of the surrounding landscape. Results suggest that landscape factors affect alien species richness and abundance differently, which are indicative of species colonization and spread, respectively. Landscape history positively affects both colonization and spread, with evidence for a colonization credit related with past urban cover, and the association between recent patch dynamics and present aliens spread. Results highlight the importance of including landscape structure and dynamics in the management of plant invasions in coastal Mediterranean habitats, especially in metropolitan regions. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Llegeix més

Of niche differentiation, dispersal ability and historical legacies: What drives woody community assembly in recent Mediterranean forests?

Basnou C., Vicente P., Espelta J.M., Pino J. (2015) Of niche differentiation, dispersal ability and historical legacies: What drives woody community assembly in recent Mediterranean forests?. Oikos. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/oik.02534

Resum:

Community assembly rules have been extensively studied, but its association with regional environmental variation and land use history remains largely unexplored. Land use history might be especially important in Mediterranean forests, considering their historical deforestation and recent afforestation. Using forest inventories and historical (1956) and recent (2000) land cover maps, we explored the following hypotheses: 1) woody species assembly is driven by environmental factors, but also by historical landscape attributes; 2) recent forests exhibit lower woody species richness than pre-existing due to the existence of colonization credits; 3) these credits are modulated by species' life-forms and dispersal mechanisms. We examined the association of forest historical type (pre-existing versus recent) with total species richness and that of diverse life-forms and dispersal groups, also considering the effects of current environment and past landscape factors. When accounting for these effects, no significant differences in woody species richness were found between forest historical types except for vertebrate-dispersed species. Species richness of this group was affected by the interaction of forest historical type with distance to coast and rainfall: vertebrate-dispersed species richness increased with rainfall and distance to the coast in recent forests, while it was higher in dryer sites in pre-existing forests. In addition, forest historical types showed differences in woody species composition associated to diverse environmental and past landscape factors. In view of these results we can conclude that: 1) community assembly in terms of species richness is fast enough to exhaust most colonization credit in recent Mediterranean forests except for vertebrate-dispersed species; 2) for these species, colonization credit is affected by the interplay of forest history and a set of proxies of niche and landscape constraints of species dispersal and establishment; 3) woody species assemblage is mostly shaped by the species' ecological niches in these forests. © 2015 The Authors.

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A multivariate fractional regression approach to modeling land use and cover dynamics in a Mediterranean landscape

Molowny-Horas R., Basnou C., Pino J. (2015) A multivariate fractional regression approach to modeling land use and cover dynamics in a Mediterranean landscape. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 54: 47-55.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2015.06.001

Resum:

The way landscapes change in time reveal a great deal of information about the interplay between the forces of nature and the impact of human-driven changes in a Mediterranean landscape. To understand the dynamics behind the process of polygon fragmentation in land use and cover vector maps we illustrate the potential of a novel regression methodology to cope with multivariate fractional data.An overlay of two vector-based land cover maps separated by a time interval of several years (1956 and 1993) show polygons that have become fragmented. Those fragments thus form a multivariate fractional bounded data set. An extension of the Papke and Wooldridge (1996) fractional regression estimation to the case of multivariate response variables has been subsequently developed to study the processes of polygon fragmentation between the two land use and cover maps.The methodology has been applied to a representative set of vector maps from the Barcelona province, Spain. Several explanatory variables have been used, among them the land cover type of the most important adjacent 1956 polygon. The results of our study indicate that the dynamics of fragmentation are determined not only by geographical and environmental variables but also by the neighboring landscape. We discuss its potential use when employed with techniques of landscape modeling. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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Spatial patterns of land use changes across a mediterranean metropolitan landscape: Implications for biodiversity management

Basnou C., Alvarez E., Bagaria G., Guardiola M., Isern R., Vicente P., Pino J. (2013) Spatial patterns of land use changes across a mediterranean metropolitan landscape: Implications for biodiversity management. Environmental Management. 52: 971-980.
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Doi: 10.1007/s00267-013-0150-5

Resum:

Land use and land cover change (LUCC) is an acknowledged cause of the current biodiversity crisis, but the link between LUCC and biodiversity conservation remains largely unknown at the regional scale, especially due to the traditional lack of consistent biodiversity data. We provide a methodological approach for assessing this link through defining a set of major pressures on biodiversity from LUCC and evaluating their extent, distribution, and association with a set of physical factors. The study was performed in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona (MRB, NE of Spain) between 1956 and 2000. We generated a LUCC map for the time period, which was reclassified into a set of pressures on biodiversity (forestation, deforestation, crop abandonment, and urbanization). We then explored the association of these pressures with a set of physical factors using redundancy analysis (RDA). Pressures encompassed 38.8 % of the MRB area. Urbanization and forestation were the dominating pressures, followed by crop abandonment and deforestation. RDA showed a significant distribution gradient of these pressures in relation to the studied physical factors: while forestation and deforestation are concentrated in remote mountain areas, urbanization mainly occurs in lowlands and especially on the coast, and close to previous urban centers and roads. Unchanged areas are concentrated in rainy and relatively remote mountain areas. Results also showed a dramatic loss of open habitats and of the traditional land use gradient, both featuring Mediterranean landscapes and extremely important for their biodiversity conservation. Implications of these results for biodiversity management are finally discussed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Llegeix més

Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats

González-Moreno P., Pino J., Carreras D., Basnou C., Fernández-Rebollar I., Vilà M. (2013) Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats. Landscape Ecology. 28: 891-903.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10980-013-9857-1

Resum:

Landscape pattern might be an important determinant of non-native plant invasions because it encompasses components influencing the availability of non-native plant propagules and disturbance regimes. We aimed at exploring the relative role of patch and landscape characteristics, compared to those of habitat type and regional human influence on non-native plant species richness. For this purpose, we identified all non-native plant species in 295 patches of four coastal habitat types across three administrative regions in NE Spain differing in the degree of human influence. For each patch, we calculated several variables reflecting habitat patch geometry (size and shape), landscape composition (distribution of land-cover categories) and landscape configuration (arrangement of patches). The last two groups of variables were calculated at five different spatial extents. Landscape composition was by far the most important group of variables associated with non-native species richness. Natural areas close to diverse and urban landscapes had a high number of non-native species while surrounding agricultural areas could buffer this effect. Regional human influence was also strongly associated with non-native species richness while habitat type was the least important factor. Differences in sensitivity of landscape variables across spatial extents proved relevant, with 100 m being the most influential extent for most variables. These results suggest that landscape characteristics should be considered for performing explicit spatial risk analyses of plant invasions. Consequently, the management of invaded habitats should focus not only at the stand scale but also at the highly influential neighbouring landscape. Prior to incorporate landscape characteristics into management decisions, sensitivity analyses should be taken into account to avoid inconsistent variables. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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Assessing land-use and -cover changes in relation to geographic factors and urban planning in the metropolitan area of Concepción (Chile). Implications for biodiversity conservation

Rojas C., Pino J., Basnou C., Vivanco M. (2013) Assessing land-use and -cover changes in relation to geographic factors and urban planning in the metropolitan area of Concepción (Chile). Implications for biodiversity conservation. Applied Geography. 39: 93-103.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.12.007

Resum:

The conservation of biodiversity in Latin American metropolitan areas is threatened by the intense land-use and -cover change. Assessing the overall biodiversity changes in entire regions faces with the traditional lack of consistent biodiversity data. This work aims at contributing to this assessment through a set of major pressures to biodiversity defined from land-use and -cover changes, and evaluating their extent, distribution and correlations with geographical variables. The study was performed in the framework of the Metropolitan Urban Plan of Concepción (MUPC, Chile). Land-use and -cover maps were obtained through image classification for the years 2000 and 2010, before and after the MUPC approval, and combined in a land-use and -cover change (LUCC) map. A set of pressures to biodiversity (natural and artificial forestation, deforestation, agricultural abandonment and expansion, and urbanization) was obtained from reclassifying the LUCC map. The correlations of these pressures with a set of geographical variables were assessed using canonical ordination methods. Finally, a preliminary forecast analysis of the effects of the MUPC was performed by combining the land-use and -cover map of 2010 with the urban-extension areas of the plan.Results showed that, in only 10 years, 57% of the Concepción Metropolitan Area (CMA) was affected by land-use and -cover changes, and 48% was affected by the pressures to biodiversity. Artificial forestation and deforestation were the dominant pressures, followed by agricultural abandonment and urbanization. The geographical distribution of pressures during the 2000-2010 period also contributed to affect the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management of the CMA. Indeed, natural forestation occurred close to urbanization, thus threatening the ecological integrity of native forests, while artificial forestation, deforestation and agricultural abandonment took place in steeply areas thus increasing landslide risk. Despite urbanization was not the most relevant pressure in the short studied period, urban development planned in the MUPC would determine an overall increase of 60% in the built-up area of the CMA, mostly affecting brushwood and forest plantations but also native forest and wetlands. Implications of these results for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the sustainable management of Latin American metropolis are finally discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Llegeix més

The role of past and present landscape on plant invasion in the Mediterranean coast

Basnou C, Iguzguiza J, Pino J (2012) The role of past and present landscape on plant invasion in the Mediterranean coast. NEOBIOTA 2012 Halting Biological Invasions in Europe: from Data to Decisions, 7th European Conference on Biological Invasions. Pontevedra. 12-14 Septembre. (comunicació oral).

Les espècies exòtiques de Catalunya. Resum del projecte EXOCAT 2012.

Andreu J, Pino J, Basnou C, Guardiola M, Ordóñez JL (2012) Les espècies exòtiques de Catalunya. Resum del projecte EXOCAT 2012.  http://www20.gencat.cat/docs/DAR/MN_Medi_natural/MN10_Fauna_salvatge_autoctona/Fauna_invasora_medi_natural/EXOCAT_2012_def.pdf

Anàlisi en el marc del SITxell dels canvis en el paisatge (1956-2005) i de la seva repercussió en la conservació dels espais naturals protegits de la província de Barcelona

Pino J, Basnou C (2012) Anàlisi en el marc del SITxell dels canvis en el paisatge (1956-2005) i de la seva repercussió en la conservació dels espais naturals protegits de la província de Barcelona. Informe inèdit. Diputació de Barcelona. Area d’Espais Naturals.

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