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Conservation Maven reviews the latest groundbreaking research and books in the field of conservation.

Rob Goldstein
249 posts

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  • December 17, 2009
  • 07:45 AM

Climate change, overfishing: together catastrophic for shallow reefs

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

  • December 16, 2009
  • 09:45 AM

Can restoration be too small? Negative effects on avian behavior...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Many conservation practitioners operate with a common assumption that all ecosystem restoration is good no mater the size of the project area. A new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology contradicts this notion by showing that when it comes to tropical reforestation and the effect on birds, bigger is better and too small may be bad.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2009
  • 06:00 AM

Bogs self-restore after reduction in power plant emissions

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study in Estonia finds that reductions in power plant emissions can allow degraded bogs to naturally self-restore. Since the 1950s power plants in northeast Estonia have emitted thousands of tons of calcium-rich fly ash along with other atmospheric pollutants. These emissions have caused substantial pH increases in bogs and the addition of various chemicals leading to a widespread disappearance of Sphagnum mosses in favor of other plants adapted to neutral or alkaline soil conditions.... Read more »

  • December 14, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

Steep, high, and remote: bias found in the location of protected areas

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers conducted a geospatial analysis of protected area networks in 147 countries and found that most were biased towards high elevations, steep slopes, and lands remote from urbanization. These results cast doubt on the value of many of these protected area networks for conservation...... Read more »

  • December 11, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

The negative impact of salvage logging on birds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Researchers in Spain measure the impacts of salvage logging on bird communities (it's not good)... Read more »

  • December 11, 2009
  • 05:00 AM

Study finds gender of author has no effect on peer-review process

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study uses a creative experimental design to test whether changing the author gender effects the outcome of the peer review process...... Read more »

Borsuk, R., Aarssen, L., Budden, A., Koricheva, J., Leimu, R., Tregenza, T., & Lortie, C. (2009) To Name or Not to Name: The Effect of Changing Author Gender on Peer Review. BioScience, 59(11), 985-989. DOI: 10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.10  

  • December 10, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Avoiding disease outbreaks when reintroducing endangered wildlife

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists have tested a method for reducing parasitic infections in wildlife reintroductions. Using guppies (Poecilia reticulata) as a model species, they found that pre-exposing individuals to parasites and then curing them prior to reintroduction reduces infection after being released... Read more »

  • December 9, 2009
  • 10:30 AM

Ocean rigs as vectors for entire communities of invasive species

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists have long recognized marine transport as a vector for exotic species invasions. But relatively little attention has been given to the transport of semi-submersible rigs - the installations that are used for oil drilling...... Read more »

Wanless, R., Scott, S., Sauer, W., Andrew, T., Glass, J., Godfrey, B., Griffiths, C., & Yeld, E. (2009) Semi-submersible rigs: a vector transporting entire marine communities around the world. Biological Invasions. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-009-9666-2  

  • December 9, 2009
  • 07:00 AM

Fouled ship hulls not a big risk to freshwater systems

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

So with all the depressing studies about maritime vessels as a vector for invasive species, new research in the journal Diversity and Distributions offers up some relatively good news about transport in the Great Lakes...... Read more »

  • December 8, 2009
  • 08:00 AM

The value of birds in controlling agricultural pests

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study in Jamaica does a great job in quantifying the value that birds provide to coffee farmers by controlling agricultural pests.... Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Sharp loss of mahogany in South America, study finds

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Scientists estimate that 66% of the historic range of mahogany in South America has been lost to commercial logging and forest conversion. Furthermore, the remaining stock is extremely low density and located in remote areas indicating that the best commercial stands have been thoroughly logged. ... Read more »

Grogan, J., Blundell, A., Landis, R., Youatt, A., Gullison, R., Martinez, M., Kómetter, R., Lentini, M., & Rice, R. (2009) Over-harvesting driven by consumer demand leads to population decline: big-leaf mahogany in South America. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2009.00082.x  

  • December 4, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Mitigation transforms streams and wetlands at landscape level

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study indicates that mitigation programs may actually alter the overall distribution of streams and wetlands across the landscape and consequently modify their function with both negative and positive consequences...... Read more »

  • December 3, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

What to do when a key tortoise goes extinct? Introduce an exotic...

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

What do you do when a keystone species goes extinct causing major disruption to ecosystem interactions and processes?

Christine Griffiths and fellow researchers offer a controversial solution to this problem for the case of the extinct giant tortoises endemic to the Mascarene islands. Introduce two exotic species of giant tortoises to replace the ones that have gone extinct.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

What is the social cost of conservation in poor countries?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Pamela McElwee from Arizona State University recently published an important study on the social costs of protected areas looking at the case of the Ke Go nature reserve in Vietnam. She wrote an excellent research summary for her self-titled blog, which she has graciously granted us permission to re-post here.... Read more »

  • November 30, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Decline in large predatory fish promotes bloom in algae

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

... Read more »

Eriksson, B., Ljunggren, L., Sandström, A., Johansson, G., Mattila, J., Rubach, A., Råberg, S., & Snickars, M. (2009) Declines in predatory fish promote bloom-forming macroalgae. Ecological Applications, 19(8), 1975-1988. DOI: 10.1890/08-0964.1  

  • November 25, 2009
  • 09:31 AM

A cautionary tale: botanical gardens and the hybridization of endangered species

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

Botanical gardens play an important role in conserving plant species that are highly endangered or even extinct in the wild. But as a new study shows, botanical gardens can pose their own dangers for these at-risk species, specifically from hybridization with other plants in the collection.... Read more »

  • November 24, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

Blending economics and ecology to protect bird habitat in the tropics

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

An innovative program uses mitigation money from New York and a planning tool based on economics to protect habitat for the Bicknell's thrush in the Caribbean...... Read more »

  • November 23, 2009
  • 10:00 AM

Why are some ski slopes much worse for the ecosystem than others?

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study finds that "not all ski slopes are created equal" when it comes to impacts to fragile, high-elevation ecosystems.... Read more »

  • November 20, 2009
  • 09:30 AM

The impact of pesticides on salmon populations

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

A new study projects the impacts to Chinook salmon populations from non-lethal exposure to pesticides in juveniles...... Read more »

  • November 19, 2009
  • 09:00 AM

Conserving whales by collecting blow samples in the wild

by Rob Goldstein in Conservation Maven

New research on pathogens in whales and dolphins illustrates the incredible ingenuity that some scientists display in gathering data on species at risk...... Read more »

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