Massive participation of the GMA lab to the ICCB congress 2015 in Montpellier

logo_iccb-eccb2015This year the ICCB (27th International Congress for Conservation Biology; 4th European Congress for Conservation Biology) was held in Montpellier, France (2-6 August 2015). GMA lab members participated organizing a symposium, presenting 5 oral interventions and 3 posters!

Michela Pacifici presented as one of the finalist of the student award!


Di Marco & Rondinini – Advances on human pressure quantification and biodiversity monitoring under global change

Oral interventions

Santini, Cornulier, Bullock, Palmer, White, Bocedi, Hodgson, Rondinini, Travis – modeling spread rate in terrestrial mammals and the ability to track a shifting climate: a trait space approach

Baisero & Rondinini – the influence of protected area selection criteria on measures of conservation effort

Pacifici, Visconti, Watson, Rondinini – Ecological and biological characteristics explain the response of species to recent climatic changes

Di Marco, Collen, Rondinini, Mace – Historical drivers of extinction risk: using past evidence to direct future monitoring

Rondinini – Challanges for combining indicators, models and scenarios of human pressure and biodiversity response into a coherent story


Di Marco & Santini – Human pressures predict species’ geographic range size better than biological traits

Santini, Saura, Rondinini – connectivity of the global network of protected areas

Rondinini, Visconti – Decline of european large mammals under global change scenarios


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IX Congresso Italiano di Teriologia (7-10 May 2014, Civitella Alfedena, IT)

Michela Pacifici presenting “Italian hotspots of mammal species vulnerable to climate change”
Luca Santini awarded for the best publication on Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, for the paper
“Santini L., Di Marco M., Visconti P., Baisero D., Boitani L., Rondinini C. 2013. Ecological correlates of dispersal distance in terrestrial mammals. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy 24(2)

The abstracts of our oral presentations and posters were published and are available on Hystrix vol. 25(special issue)



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A mid-term analysis of progress toward international biodiversity targets

Tittensor D.P., Walpole M., Hill S.L.L., Boyce D.G., Britten G.L., Burgess N.D., Butchart S.H.M., Leadley P.W., Regan E.C., Alkamade R., Baumung R., Bellard C., Bouwman L., Bowles-Newark N.J., Chenery A.M., Cheung W.W.L., Christensen V., Cooper H.D., Crowther A.R., Dixon M.J.R., Galli A., Gaveau V., Gregory R.D., Gutierrez N.L., Hirsch T., Hoft R., Januchowski-Hartley S.R., Karmann M., Krug C.B., Leverington F.J., Loh J., Lojenga R.K., Malsch K., Marques A., Morgan D.H.W., Mumby P.J., Newbold T., Noonan-Mooney K., Pagad S.N., Parks B.C., Pereira H.M., Robertson T., Rondinini C., Santini L., Scharlemann J.P.W., Schindler S., Sumaila U.R., Teh L.S.L., van Kolck J., Visconti P., Ye Y.

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In 2010 the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related “Aichi Targets” to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets. We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive statistical framework that incorporated the specific properties of individual time series. On current trajectories, results suggest that despite accelerating policy and management responses to the biodiversity crisis, the impacts of these efforts are unlikely to be reflected in improved trends in the state of biodiversity by 2020. We highlight areas of societal endeavor requiring additional efforts to achieve the Aichi Targets, and provide a baseline against which to assess future progress.

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Incorporating spatial population structure in gap analysis reveals inequitable assessments of species protection


Diversity & Distribution DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12198

Quartz %dGap analysis measures the percentage of protected species distribution and generally compares it to a representation target (i.e. minimum area to be protected). The results are used to identify species that need further protection, providing a quantitative baseline to address a possible expansion of a given protected area (PA) systems. However, the achievement of the same representation target may have different implications in terms of species persistence depending on population spatial structure and conservation needs. The aim was to investigate to what extent and why gap analysis may provide inequitable assessments of species protection.

We performed three gap analyses on 27 European species of carnivores and ungulates, measuring the level of protection according to three different types of distribution data: geographical ranges, habitat suitability models and habitat suitability models that incorporate the potential spatial structuring in populations within PAs.

The estimated degree of species protection depends on the distribution proxy and the target adopted. When the analyses are based on areas able to support viable populations (irrespective of how these areas are quantified), the perceived relative protection of different species changes considerably. The ability of different species to persist in PA systems mostly depends on their population density and dispersal abilities, as well as the interaction between these two features, which eventually determines the number and relative size of the populations.

The achievement of the same representation target for different species may imply protecting different numbers of individuals in populations having different spatial structures and may consequently lead to different probabilities of persistence across species. If species spatial structuring is disregarded, gap analysis may thus lead to inequitable assessments of PA coverage.


Ecological correlates of dispersal distance in terrestrial mammals

Santini L., Di Marco M., Visconti P., Baisero D., Boitani L., Rondinini C. 2013. Ecological correlates of dispersal distance in terrestrial mammals. Hystrix 24(2): 1-6.

Abstract. Dispersal distance in mammals is a fundamental information for several ecological and conservation applications. Although dispersal can depend on many intrinsic and extrinsic factors, in recent years many studies have shown that it scales with body size and home range area. However, the role of further ecological correlates to distance travelled is still unclear and the predictive models proposed so far have suffered from small sample size and lack of error estimates. This reduces the practical relevance of the models for ecological and conservation applications. We conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis on 327 studies on the dispersal of 164 mammal species, and performed linear and non-linear regression analyses to explore the relationships of body size and home range area with dispersal distance. We tested the effect of various life history traits and ecological factors on the relationships and performed a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the robustness of the models to sample size. The linear relationships of both home range and body size with dispersal distance were influenced by various life history traits and ecological factors. We developed allometric functions to estimate species dispersal distance based on different predictors and life history traits. Linear models representing the relationship between dispersal distance and body size or home range area received good support; however logistic models better approximates both relationships. Despite receiving less support than a logistic curve, a linear model between dispersal and home range is a good approximation for applicative purposes. Sensitivity analysis showed that our results are robust to subsampling of the original dataset until a sample of 40 species. Our empirical models have the potential to improve theoretical and applied population biology studies by extending the applicability and improving the accuracy of dispersal distance estimation to a large number of mammals.

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