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Valencia-Aguilar A.,Conservation Leadership Program Fellow | Cortes-Gomez A.M.,University of Santiago de Cali | Ruiz-Agudelo C.A.,Conservation International Colombia
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management | Year: 2013

Human welfare depends directly or indirectly on the services provided by ecosystems. Amphibians and reptiles represent a high proportion of global species diversity and include species that are widely distributed throughout the world and play a variety of roles that benefit humans. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the ecosystem services provided by amphibians and reptiles in Neotropical ecosystems to evaluate the contribution of these highly diverse groups to human welfare. We conducted a literature review of articles and books from databases and university libraries and collected data from 106 studies. Amphibians and reptiles contributed directly and indirectly to the four types of ecosystem services: provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting. Most available studies reported the use of direct services from reptiles and indirect services from amphibians. Although eight ecosystem services were identified, most studies focused on reptiles as seed dispersers and protein sources. Biological pest control and bioturbation were the most widely studied services obtained from amphibians. Further research are necessary to understand the ecological functions involving amphibians and reptiles and their importance in the provision of key ecosystem services for human well-being. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Harvey C.A.,The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans | Chacon M.,The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans | Donatti C.I.,The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans | Garen E.,The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans | And 22 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

Addressing the global challenges of climate change, food security, and poverty alleviation requires enhancing the adaptive capacity and mitigation potential of agricultural landscapes across the tropics. However, adaptation and mitigation activities tend to be approached separately due to a variety of technical, political, financial, and socioeconomic constraints. Here, we demonstrate that many tropical agricultural systems can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits if they are designed and managed appropriately and if the larger landscape context is considered. Many of the activities needed for adaptation and mitigation in tropical agricultural landscapes are the same needed for sustainable agriculture more generally, but thinking at the landscape scale opens a new dimension for achieving synergies. Intentional integration of adaptation and mitigation activities in agricultural landscapes offers significant benefits that go beyond the scope of climate change to food security, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation. However, achieving these objectives will require transformative changes in current policies, institutional arrangements, and funding mechanisms to foster broad-scale adoption of climate-smart approaches in agricultural landscapes. ©2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Saenz L.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Saenz L.,Kings College London | Mulligan M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Arjona F.,Conservation International Colombia | Gutierrez T.,BlueSmart
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2014

The conservation of cloud forests has recently been recognized as important for the optimal operation of hydropower infrastructure. However, large areas of cloud forest have been deforested globally, which may suggest that many tropical dams, downstream of these deforested areas, are currently operating at suboptimal levels. This is the case in a country like Colombia where 55% of pre-colonial cloud forests have disappeared. Incentives like Payments for Watershed Services have tried to involve Colombia's energy sector in improved watershed conservation with limited success. Since hydropower companies likely benefit significantly from eco-hydrological services provided by cloud forests, a new generation of incentives for facilitating their engagement in ecosystem protection is desperately needed. Through simulation of the effect of cloud forest restoration on the hydropower output of the Calima dam system, using innovative process based eco-hydrological models and dam operational modeling, we explore the implications of cloud forest restoration for energy security and expansion in Colombia and propose an innovative financial mechanism to help engage energy companies further in improved cloud forest protection in Colombia and beyond. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Saenz L.,Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science | Farrell T.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Olsson A.,Asia Pacific Regional Office | Turner W.,Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science | And 7 more authors.
Global Ecology and Conservation | Year: 2016

Freshwater is arguably one of Earth's most threatened natural resources, on which more than 7 billion people depend. Pressures on freshwater resources from infrastructure, resource development, agricultural pollution and deforestation are mounting, particularly in developing countries. To date, conservation responses such as Protected Areas (PAs) have not typically targeted freshwater ecosystems and their services, and thus little is known about the effectiveness of these efforts in protecting them. This paper proposes and pilots an innovative freshwater services metrics framework to quantify the representation of potential freshwater services in PAs under conditions of scarce data, with a pilot application for Cambodia. Our results indicate that conservation actions have more effectively represented potential freshwater regulation services than potential freshwater provisioning services, with major rivers remaining generally unprotected. Results from the framework are then used to propose a series of context and region specific management options to improve the conservation of freshwater services in Cambodia. There is an acute need for such management options, as the country's food security depends largely on important freshwater ecosystems such as the Tonle Sap Lake and the deep water pools systems of the Mekong River. The framework proposed can be applied in other countries or large river basins to explore the degree of representation of freshwater services within PAs systems, under conditions of sparse data. © 2016. Source

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