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Biodiversity conservation demands open access.

Fonseca G, Benson PJ - PLoS Biol. (2003)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programs and Science at Conservation International, Washington, DC, USA. g.fonseca@conservation.org

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To develop effective conservation actions, scientists must continue to uncover basic information, such as how much continuous landscape many species need to survive, and researchers also need to understand the complex dynamics among disease factors, climate change, and human activities that may further threaten species' survival... At the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International, we focus on monitoring, understanding, and protecting the Earth's biodiversity hotspots, areas where endemic species are both highly concentrated and highly threatened (see www.biodiversityhotspots.org)... Although free and open access to the progress of scientific thought is vital for the advancement of many disciplines, it is particularly necessary for conservation science... This is true not only because resources for high-cost items such as scientific publications are limited in many of the countries with the most complex and urgent conservation problems, but also because effective conservation solutions must draw ingredients from a wide range of disciplines... The imperative of open access to conservation is perhaps best illustrated by the Tropical Ecology, Assessment, and Monitoring (TEAM) Initiative, set up as part of CABS in 2002 with support from a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation... The Initiative was created with the aim of accurately tracking large-scale changes in tropical forest ecosystems, in part to gather information that will allow scientists to distinguish the effects of human disturbance from the natural ebb and flow of biological processes... Armed with this up-to-date information, conservation planners will be able to design conservation actions that address the most urgent and real conservation needs more effectively... In addition, by making TEAM analyses publicly available, the Initiative will create a forum in which researchers from widely disparate disciplines can learn from each other's disciplinary languages and practices and can invent ways of bringing together their skills and knowledge (see www.teaminitiative.org)... These examples of models of sharing scientific information, together with a multitude of others that are now emerging, are based on a diverse set of economic incentives and schemes, most of which are still under evaluation... Which models are successful and sustainable will depend on changes in technology, in the culture of science and scientists, and in the marketplace... Although this community is diverse and dispersed, the rewards associated with finding and using reliable information as quickly as possible are increasing dramatically... Precious conservation dollars can be saved or put to more effective and rapid use by avoiding duplication of efforts through the wide and free dissemination of relevant information and by fostering the collaboration among researchers, policy-makers, and funders... These goals should no longer be allowed to fall hostage to the existing constraints imposed by the profit-driven publishing marketplace or by old-fashioned practices of handling scientific data.

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Paraguay Atlantic ForestThe lush forested ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest, such as shown here in Paraguay, have been cut to less than 7% of their original extent, eliminating the habitat for thousands of plant and animal species. (Photograph by Russell Mittermeier.)
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pbio.0000046-g001: Paraguay Atlantic ForestThe lush forested ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest, such as shown here in Paraguay, have been cut to less than 7% of their original extent, eliminating the habitat for thousands of plant and animal species. (Photograph by Russell Mittermeier.)

Mentions: Over the past 25 years, conservation biology has become a credible scientific discipline—and in the process has brought a steady supply of disturbing facts to light. We now know that the natural habitat around the world has been and continues to be threatened and destroyed at alarming rates, with more than 60% of terrestrial plant species now finding safe harbor on less than 1.4% of the Earth's landmass. The Atlantic Forest region of South America (Figure 1), for example, has been cut to less than 7% of its original range, and more than 110 species still living within the remaining area are threatened with extinction. Since the 1600s, over 250 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians worldwide have become extinct as a result of human activities. In the past four years alone, 121 species have been added to the 11,167 already known to be threatened with extinction (i.e., those currently on the Red List of Threatened Species issued by the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union [IUCN]).


Biodiversity conservation demands open access.

Fonseca G, Benson PJ - PLoS Biol. (2003)

Paraguay Atlantic ForestThe lush forested ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest, such as shown here in Paraguay, have been cut to less than 7% of their original extent, eliminating the habitat for thousands of plant and animal species. (Photograph by Russell Mittermeier.)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC261885&req=5

pbio.0000046-g001: Paraguay Atlantic ForestThe lush forested ecosystems of the Atlantic Forest, such as shown here in Paraguay, have been cut to less than 7% of their original extent, eliminating the habitat for thousands of plant and animal species. (Photograph by Russell Mittermeier.)
Mentions: Over the past 25 years, conservation biology has become a credible scientific discipline—and in the process has brought a steady supply of disturbing facts to light. We now know that the natural habitat around the world has been and continues to be threatened and destroyed at alarming rates, with more than 60% of terrestrial plant species now finding safe harbor on less than 1.4% of the Earth's landmass. The Atlantic Forest region of South America (Figure 1), for example, has been cut to less than 7% of its original range, and more than 110 species still living within the remaining area are threatened with extinction. Since the 1600s, over 250 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians worldwide have become extinct as a result of human activities. In the past four years alone, 121 species have been added to the 11,167 already known to be threatened with extinction (i.e., those currently on the Red List of Threatened Species issued by the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union [IUCN]).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programs and Science at Conservation International, Washington, DC, USA. g.fonseca@conservation.org

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

To develop effective conservation actions, scientists must continue to uncover basic information, such as how much continuous landscape many species need to survive, and researchers also need to understand the complex dynamics among disease factors, climate change, and human activities that may further threaten species' survival... At the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International, we focus on monitoring, understanding, and protecting the Earth's biodiversity hotspots, areas where endemic species are both highly concentrated and highly threatened (see www.biodiversityhotspots.org)... Although free and open access to the progress of scientific thought is vital for the advancement of many disciplines, it is particularly necessary for conservation science... This is true not only because resources for high-cost items such as scientific publications are limited in many of the countries with the most complex and urgent conservation problems, but also because effective conservation solutions must draw ingredients from a wide range of disciplines... The imperative of open access to conservation is perhaps best illustrated by the Tropical Ecology, Assessment, and Monitoring (TEAM) Initiative, set up as part of CABS in 2002 with support from a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation... The Initiative was created with the aim of accurately tracking large-scale changes in tropical forest ecosystems, in part to gather information that will allow scientists to distinguish the effects of human disturbance from the natural ebb and flow of biological processes... Armed with this up-to-date information, conservation planners will be able to design conservation actions that address the most urgent and real conservation needs more effectively... In addition, by making TEAM analyses publicly available, the Initiative will create a forum in which researchers from widely disparate disciplines can learn from each other's disciplinary languages and practices and can invent ways of bringing together their skills and knowledge (see www.teaminitiative.org)... These examples of models of sharing scientific information, together with a multitude of others that are now emerging, are based on a diverse set of economic incentives and schemes, most of which are still under evaluation... Which models are successful and sustainable will depend on changes in technology, in the culture of science and scientists, and in the marketplace... Although this community is diverse and dispersed, the rewards associated with finding and using reliable information as quickly as possible are increasing dramatically... Precious conservation dollars can be saved or put to more effective and rapid use by avoiding duplication of efforts through the wide and free dissemination of relevant information and by fostering the collaboration among researchers, policy-makers, and funders... These goals should no longer be allowed to fall hostage to the existing constraints imposed by the profit-driven publishing marketplace or by old-fashioned practices of handling scientific data.

Show MeSH