ISLAND-BIODIV: Understanding biodiversity dynamics in tropical and subtropical islands as an aid to science based conservation action

ISLAND-BIODIV is a concerted, transnational and transregional collaboration to provide measures of biodiversity within island ecosystems and establish fast, efficient and long-term monitoring strategies for three inter-dependant functionally important groups: flowering plants, macro-invertebrates living above ground, and micro-invertebrates inhabiting soil systems. The short-term objective of ISLAND-BIODIV is to develop the necessary methodology and undertake a series of intra-regional biodiversity assessments. Embedded in this objective is the coordination of sampling effort to address specific biodiversity needs and concerns at the level of stakeholders and policy makers. Longer-term objectives are the implementation of standardised procedures for science-led biodiversity evaluation, and the establishment of sampling plots for long-term monitoring and/or complementary biological analyses. Specifically we address the following questons: (1) To what extent can biodiversity within a given ecosystem within an island be considered to be homogenous across the landscape of that ecosystem? (2) Are there predictable patterns in the spatial variation of biodiversity among different functional groups within the same ecosystem? (3) How well do existing management strategies within each OR to protect biodiversity or represent the full breadth of biodiversity within an OR? (4) What realistic changes or extensions to management strategies could be incorporated to maximise biodiversity conservation? This will be achieved by the application of modern DNA sequence based technology together with more traditional sampling and survey techniques. These objectives directly address the collaborative research priorities of the Net-Biome call by characterising biodiversity and its evolution to enhance management and policy decision-making. The ISLAND-BIODIV work plan directly engages stakeholders across the three ORs, from the level of governmental policy makers, to local and private interest groups. Stakeholder engagement is designed to maximise the utility of ISLAND-BIODIV for policy and decision-making. Similarly public outreach activities are designed to cast a wide net and capture a diverse public audience to educate and inform about evaluation and valuation of biodiversity.

PROJECTS

1) NETBIOME – Europe –FCT NETBIOME/0003/2011.

ISLAND-BIODIV: Understanding biodiversity dynamics in tropical and subtropical islands as an aid to science based conservation action (2012-2015).

2) FCT-PTDC/BIABIC/0054/2014– MACDIV “Macaronesian Islands as a testing ground to assess biodiversity drivers at multiple scales” Starting January 2016 (2016-2018).

PH.D. GRANT

1) Rui Nunes (2012-2015) Ph.D. in Landscape Interdisciplinary Management by the Univ. of Azores and Univ. Évora under supervision of Prof. Paulo Borges, Prof. Pedro Cardoso and Prof. António Onofre Soares with the project Whole Azorean Arthropod diversity: understanding the trophic relations and functional diversity at a plot scale”.

OTHER GRANTS

Student Grants from EU Eurodyssee Project and EU -ERASMUS Training for the students:

2014 - Ruben Murillo Garcia (ERASMUS Training)

2014 - Laura Gallardo (EU Eurodyssee Project)

2014 - Sophie Wallon (ERASMUS Training)

2014 - Marija Tomašić (EU Eurodyssee Project)

2015 - Adal Humberto Díaz Raya (ERASMUS +)

2015- Laura Cáceres Sabater (ERASMUS +)

2015 - David Rodilla Rivas (ERASMUS +)

2015 - Percy de Laminne de Bex (EU Eurodyssee Project)

2015 - Juan Ignacio Pitarch (EU Eurodyssee Project)

NETBIOME STARTING PROJECT

Coordinator: Brent Emerson (Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiología (IPNA-CSIC), Tenerife, Canary Islands).

Members: Paulo Borges, Rui B. Elias (CITA-A – Azorean Biodiversity Group); Pedro Oromí, José María Fernández-Palacios (Univ de La Laguna, Canaries, Spain); Dominique Strasberg (Université de La Réunion); Christophe Thébaud (Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse 3)), Juli Caujapé-Castells (Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo” – Unidad Asociada CSIC).

LONG-TERM Monitoring in Azores with SLAM Traps (2013-2020)

Natural Parks of Santa Maria, Terceira, Faial, Pico, Flores, Graciosa, SPEA, the Botanical Garden of Faial and the Furnas Monitoring and Research Centre.