Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

Apia, Samoa

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

Apia, Samoa
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Carrion-Tacuri J.,University of Seville | Berjano R.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Guerrero G.,Central University of Ecuador | Figueroa E.,University of Seville | And 2 more authors.
Weed Biology and Management | Year: 2014

Fruit set is highly relevant to a plant's reproductive success. Fruit set can vary due to predation on flowers, pollinator services and/or resource availability. Reproductive success, measured as the fruit set of the invasive Lantana camara and the endemic Lantana peduncularis in the cool-dry season and the warm-wet season of the Galapagos Islands, was studied. Also, autonomous self-pollination ability and seed viability were probed for both species. Furthermore, flower visitors and their activity were registered for both species during the warm-wet season. Lantana peduncularis produced fewer flowers per inflorescence, but had a higher fruit set in the cool-dry season, compared to the warm-wet season. In contrast, the fruit set in L.camara did not change seasonally. The fruit set in L.camara was higher than in L.peduncularis in the warm-wet season. Moreover, ~18% of the bagged flowers of the invasive Lantana produced fruits by autonomous self-pollination, while for the endemic Lantana, the rate of autonomous self-pollination was very low. More than 80% of the fruits for both species had at least one viable seed per fruit. The number of pollinators and their frequency, inflorescence- and flower-visiting rates and the duration of the visit per flower were higher in the invasive Lantana than in the endemic one. The endemic Lepidoptera Urbanus galapagensis (the main pollinator of both Lantana species) and the introduced Hymenia perspectalis were observed pollinating both Lantana species. These results indicate that the alien L.camara is more attractive to pollinators and it has reproductive advantages regarding fruit set in comparison with L.peduncularis, factors that contribute to the colonization pattern of this invasive species. © 2014 Weed Science Society of Japan.

Carrion-Tacuri J.,University of Seville | Berjano R.,University of Seville | Guerrero G.,Central University of Ecuador | Figueroa E.,University of Seville | And 2 more authors.
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2012

Observations on birds feeding on fruits of the invasive shrub Lantana camara (Supirrosa) were conducted on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos (Ecuador) in the Dry Zone during the 2009 dry season. The endemic ground finches Geospiza magnirostris (Large Ground Finch) and G. fortis (Medium Ground Finch) were recorded eating Lantana seeds with G. fortis the main consumer (>90% of records). Both finch species crushed the seeds and ate the embryos, discarding the exocarp and empty seed coats. They also dropped entire fruits to the ground, which could contribute to short-distance dispersal, but both finches also consumed fruits of L. camara on the ground. Density of L. camara seedlings under adult plants was higher in rockier areas than in bare soil since seeds were less accessible to predators and/or found more suitable microsites for germination and establishment. Both species of finches serve as short-distance dispersers, but mainly as seed predators of L. camara fruits. © 2012 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

Caujape-Castells J.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Tye A.,Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme | Crawford D.J.,Biodiversity Research Center | Santos-Guerra A.,Instituto Canario Of Investigaciones Agrarias | And 8 more authors.
Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics | Year: 2010

Current threats to the planet's biodiversity are unprecedented, and they particularly imperil insular floras. In this investigation, we use the threat factors identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as the main drivers of biodiversity loss on islands to define and rank 13 current, continuing threats to the plant diversity of nine focal archipelagos where volcanic origin (or in the Seychelles a prolonged isolation after a continental origin) has produced a high degree of endemicity and fragility in the face of habitat alteration. We also conduct a global endangerment assessment based on the numbers of insular endemic plants in the endangered (EN) and critically endangered (CR) IUCN categories for 53 island groups with an estimated 9951 endemic plant species, providing a representative sample of the world's insular systems and their floristic richness. Our analyses indicate that isolation does not significantly influence endangerment, but plant endemics from very small islands are more often critically endangered. We estimate that between 3500 and 6800 of the estimated 70,000 insular endemic plant species worldwide might be highly threatened (CR+EN) and between ca. 2000 and 2800 of them in critical danger of extinction (CR). Based on these analyses, and on a worldwide literature review of the biological threat factors considered, we identify challenging questions for conservation research, asking (i) what are the most urgent priorities for the conservation of insular species and floras, and (ii) with the knowledge and assets available, how can we improve the impact of conservation science and practice on the preservation of island biodiversity? Our analysis indicates that the synergistic action of many threat factors can induce major ecological disturbances, leading to multiple extinctions. We review weaknesses and strengths in conservation research and management in the nine focal archipelagos, and highlight the urgent need for conservation scientists to share knowledge and expertise, identify and discuss common challenges, and formulate multi-disciplinary conservation objectives for insular plant endemics worldwide. To our knowledge, this is the most up-to-date and comprehensive survey yet to review the threat factors to native plants on oceanic islands and define priority research questions. © 2009 Rübel Foundation, ETH Zürich.

Jupiter S.D.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Jenkins A.P.,Edith Cowan University | Lee Long W.J.,Alluvium Consulting | Maxwell S.L.,University of Queensland | And 7 more authors.
Pacific Conservation Biology | Year: 2014

We propose a new approach for island-wide planning and implementation of ecosystem management in the Pacific, recognizing a lack of replicability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness in other approaches. 'Integrated island management' (IIM) operates through coordinated networks of institutions and communities focused on sustainable and adaptive management of natural resources. IIM enables simultaneous and cost-effective achievement of ecosystem-based management, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction while conserving biodiversity, maintaining ecosystem services and securing human health and well-being. We present ten guiding principles for IIM, and then use these to evaluate 36 case studies from the Pacific islands. Most case studies were pilot or demonstration projects with little evidence of planning to ensure long-term financial and human capacity needs were sustained, beyond the life of the projects, or could be replicated at significant scales. Management outcomes in the Pacific will be enhanced by: (1) building on foundations of customary management practice and social networks; (2) working holistically across relevant ecological and governance scales, through coordinated but decentralized and nested institutions; (3) empowering local communities to participate in integrated planning and implementation; and (4) embedding IIM practice into national systems for long-term sustainability and replication. These also ultimately depend on the context and externalities, beyond the control of practitioners. Cost-effectiveness and appropriateness are also critical for successful IIM in the Pacific islands but ultimately there is little alternative for effective biodiversity conservation.

Serra G.,Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme | Bruschini C.,University of Florence | Peske L.,Slezska 43 | Kubsa A.,Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society | And 2 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2013

The long-range, migratory eastern relict population of Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has been steadily declining since the time of discovery in 2002, despite the protection programme in place at the breeding grounds in Syria. Assessing the ecological conditions and threats along the migration route and at the wintering site, both discovered in 2006, has become a priority for this Critically Endangered species. Adult ibises spent the winter at the same site on the central Ethiopian highland plateau, from August until mid-February during five consecutive winters (2006-2011). The wintering site was surveyed during four field visits and assessed through a spatial analysis of 1,067 satellite locations. The site is in an agro-pastoral landscape, inhabited by a settled community of people living in relatively poor and isolated conditions. Home range analysis based on kernel distributions showed that the bald ibises used a core range area of 9.1-19.0 km2 (confirmed by direct visual observations in the field) and an extended range area of 61.0-126.1 km 2. These figures are c.20 and 60 times smaller, respectively, than those calculated for the breeding site in Syria. Eighty-one percent of the core area in Ethiopia was used in all five years confirming the birds' fidelity to this wintering site. Ibises preferred to forage in wet or dry pastures and in recently cut hayfields, and avoided tall grass, uncut hayfields and cultivation. Despite dependence on human-created habitats, human disturbance observed in the field was minimal. The main short-term threat for the ibises was judged to be the potential raising of attention on the part of the local community specifically towards these few individual ibises. In the medium term, the main threat comes from the conversion of pastures into crops and the potential use of fertilisers and pesticides. © BirdLife International 2013.

Murray L.,University of Cambridge | Gurbisz C.,University of Cambridge | Gibson D.,Hampton University | Woerner J.,Indiana University | Carruthers T.,Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
Eos | Year: 2012

Scientists talk to scientists and educators talk to educators, but seldom do the two camps interact in a collaborative fashion. This gap between science and education results in poor student achievement and a general lack of interest in sciences. © 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Calle Z.,Center for Research on Sustainable Agriculture | Schlumpberger B.O.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Piedrahita L.,Center for Research on Sustainable Agriculture | Leftin A.,University of Arizona | And 3 more authors.
Trees - Structure and Function | Year: 2010

In many temperate plants seasonal variation in day length induces flowering at species-specific times each year. Here we report synchronous bud break and flowering of tropical perennials that cannot be explained by seasonal changes in day length. We recorded flushing and flowering of more than 100 tropical trees, succulents and understory herbs over several years. We observed the following phenological patterns throughout the northern Neotropics: wide-ranging trees flush or flower twice a year at the Equator, but annually further north; many trees leaf out in February; in autumn, wide-ranging perennials flower 4 months earlier in Mexico than at the Equator. This latitudinal variation of phenology parallels that of the annual cycle of daily insolation, a function of day length and solar irradiation. Insolation has two annual maxima at the Equator, it rapidly increases in February at all latitudes, and between Mexico and the Equator its maximum shifts from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox. These unique, manifold correlations suggest that throughout the tropics insolation, rather than day length, may control the phenology of many perennials. Our observations significantly extend current knowledge of environmental signals involved in photoperiodic control of plant development. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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