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Tsakiris G.,National Technical University of Athens | Nalbantis I.,National Technical University of Athens | Vangelis H.,National Technical University of Athens | Verbeiren B.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | And 10 more authors.
Water Resources Management | Year: 2013

Conventionally droughts are studied in terms of their dimensions (severity, duration and areal extent), without specifying the affected system. The paper presents an innovative system-based approach for drought analysis, which can lead to rational decisions for combating drought. Concepts of water scarcity (drought, water shortage, aridity and desertification) are viewed within the perspective of this new approach. The paper focuses also on operational water management in the presence of drought. Starting from the needs for such management, the affected system is defined and the related quantities are identified. Also, sub-systems are considered which allow the establishment of the link between specific variables and drought. Some drought characterisation methods are particularly suited for the systemic approach. Finally drought is considered as a natural hazard phenomenon and its consequences are discussed. Each physical sub-system can be improved by a variety of measures aiming at decreasing its vulnerability towards drought, so that the drought risk is mitigated. It is concluded that the clear definition of the affected system on the spatial and temporal scales can significantly contribute to the rational management for combating drought. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Cammaerts R.,Direction de la Nature et de lEau | Cammaerts R.,Roosevelt University | Spikmans F.,Stichting RAVON | van Kessel N.,Natuurbalans Limes Divergens BV | And 5 more authors.
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2012

The western tubenose goby, Proterorhinus semilunaris, of Ponto-Caspian origin, already recorded in 2002 from the lowest course of the Dutch River Meuse, was caught upstream for the first time in 2008 in the Border Meuse, the river-stretch forming the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2009 it reached the upstream extremity of the Border Meuse in Wallonia and in 2010 it was recorded in Flanders, in a canal connected to the Border Meuse. Discussion is provided about its migration pathway. Further upstream expansion of the western tubenose goby may be expected in less man-modified and lightly navigated sections of the River Meuse, e.g. those lined with macrophyte-rich habitats. Behavioural competition with the native bullhead Cottus perifretum is likely and might lead to a decline in the bullhead population. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Brosens D.,Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek | Vankerkhoven F.,Polyergus | Ignace D.,FourmisWalBru | Wegnez P.,FourmisWalBru | And 4 more authors.
ZooKeys | Year: 2013

FORMIDABEL is a database of Belgian Ants containing more than 27.000 occurrence records. These records originate from collections, field sampling and literature. The database gives information on 76 native and 9 introduced ant species found in Belgium. The collection records originated mainly from the ants collection in Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the 'Gaspar' Ants collection in Gembloux and the zoological collection of the University of Liège (ULG). The oldest occurrences date back from May 1866, the most recent refer to August 2012. FORMIDABEL is a work in progress and the database is updated twice a year. The latest version of the dataset is publicly and freely accessible through this url: http://ipt.biodiversity. be/resource.do?r=formidabel. The dataset is also retrievable via the GBIF data portal through this link: http://data.gbif.org/datasets/resource/14697 A dedicated geo-portal, developed by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform is accessible at: http://www. formicidae-atlas.be Purpose: FORMIDABEL is a joint cooperation of the Flemish ants working group "Polyergus" (http://formicidae.be) and the Wallonian ants working group "FourmisWalBru" (http://fourmiswalbru. be). The original database was created in 2002 in the context of the preliminary red data book of Flemish Ants (Dekoninck et al. 2003). Later, in 2005, data from the Southern part of Belgium; Wallonia and Brussels were added. In 2012 this dataset was again updated for the creation of the first Belgian Ants Atlas (Figure 1) (Dekoninck et al. 2012). The main purpose of this atlas was to generate maps for all outdoor-living ant species in Belgium using an overlay of the standard Belgian ecoregions. By using this overlay for most species, we can discern a clear and often restricted distribution pattern in Belgium, mainly based on vegetation and soil types. © Dimitri Brosens et al. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2010.2.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 1.29M | Year: 2010

Knowledge about biodiversity and ecosystem services is well advanced in the European scientific community, as demonstrated by many excellent projects and their scientific impact. However, on the global as well as the European scale, there is a failure to communicate the knowledge gained into the policy-making process and society as a whole. Such communication efforts, must ensure that all relevant knowledge is accessible and that all existing biodiversity research communities and other knowledge holders are involved in a network structure that is linked to decision making bodies. The overall objective of the project is thus to develop a recommended design for a scientific biodiversity Network of Knowledge (NoK) to inform policy-makers and other societal actors. This network shall be open, transparent, flexible, equally accessible to all, independent, be scientifically- and evidence-based and have a robust structure. It will develop links to relevant clients to support the science-society interface in Europe and beyond. To achieve this, the project brings together expertise from all major biodiversity research fields (in the consortium and beyond). Beginning with mapping the biodiversity knowledge landscape in Europe (WP1), the project will develop a prototype NoK, involving a wide number of institutions and networks in biodiversity research and policy (WP2). This prototype will then be used as a vehicle to carry out case studies in relevant policy fields (agriculture, biodiversity conservation, marine issues) in order to test and trial its functioning and effectiveness (WP3). The experience gained will be evaluated by an additional expert group within the project (WP4) in order to provide input for developing a recommended design for a potential future Network of Knowledge (WP5). WP6 takes care of project management, and will ensure international cooperation and the proper communication with potential clients of the network and the research community.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2008

The key challenge addressed in the present proposal is to develop a biodiversity observation system that is transmissible, cost effective and provides added value to the currently independent data sources of in situ data and EO. There are three requirements: the production of protocols to enable extant data to be placed on a common framework for analysis; the provision of a sound scientific conceptual basis for the system that will provide a robust statistical structure for analytical tests and for the eventual estimates of stock and change and the provision of a system for estimating past change and monitoring as well as enabling forecasting of future options so that policy makers can generate appropriate strategies for mitigation. The present consortium has a major advantage in that the framework is based on existing institutional collaboration which has been developed in the EU project ALTERNET. This framework will ensure continuity of recording and shows an existing commitments of the institutes concerned to long term monitoring. It will also provide the necessary structure for integration of available data.. This network already has long term data sets for biodiversity indicators eg butterflies and birds but the ambition is to convert these from site specific measures through inter-calibration to the wider European picture, using tried and tested statistical procedures. The key work package will involve inter-calibration between EO and in situ data,which will involve habitats that can be linked to specific biodiversity indicators. These will be identified using a conceptual framework developed in another work package. The target is to provide a basis for up and down scaling that can be tested to show the added value of integration. Other work packages will provide protocols to place data onto a common framework tests of validation and stratification procedures for assessing the consistency of data coverage.

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