Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions II

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 June 2023) | Viewed by 6154

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Environmental Management, and Energy Studies, APK Campus, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2092, South Africa
Interests: plant ecology; biodiversity and conservation; invasion ecology; ethnobotany; environmental management
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mounting evidence is now pointing to an ongoing sixth mass extinction, or biodiversity crisis. This crisis differs from the previous ones due to its main cause: anthropogenic versus natural events (the Anthropocene era). The overwhelming impact of humans on the ongoing biodiversity crisis suggests that if we understand and are able to predict human interactions with the environment, we could achieve a great step towards curbing, controlling, or preventing destructive anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity, or at least using this understanding to inform policy. Given that the survival of the human species itself depends on how well biodiversity and the environment are preserved (due to the tremendous ecosystem goods and services humans rely on), there is a need for a continued commitment to investigating human–environment interactions.

Studies that fall within the scope of human ecology, ecological anthropology, and ethnobiology (including ethnoecology, ethnobotany and ethnozoology, ethnopharmacology, etc.) investigate these interactions. However, some of these studies are heavily descriptive, making hot debates around hypotheses and theories in these fields less frequent, and prompting some to even question if these disciplines have unifying theories.

The present Special Issue provides an exciting opportunity to share your recent research on theory-inspired studies on various aspects of human–biodiversity interactions, including how biodiversity responds to anthropogenic disturbance. The key aspects of this Special Issue are two-fold. First, human aspects—either as the drivers (direct or indirect) of disturbances to biodiversity or as the beneficiary of biodiversity functions (ecosystem goods and services)—must be clearly highlighted. Second, studies must rely on clearly formulated hypotheses or theories that can be used to fuel discussions in the field (purely descriptive studies are less likely to be accepted).

Diversity’s team and the Guest Editor kindly invite you to submit a manuscript focused on any of the above topics. Some of these studies or reviews may focus on human selection and the use of native biodiversity (plants, animals, fungi, etc.); the selection, use, and integration of non-native plants into local pharmacopoeias; plant harvest ecology; the responses of biodiversity to anthropogenic pressures; and conservation efforts of biodiversity at any scale (country level or beyond); including policy aspects of biodiversity conservation, etc. If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Dr. Kowiyou Yessoufou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • anthropocene
  • biodiversity and conservation
  • biodiversity crisis
  • ecosystem good services
  • hypotheses and theories
  • human ecology
  • ecological anthropology
  • ethnobiology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 1958 KiB  
Article
Assessing Effects of Multi-Scale Landscape Pattern and Habitats Attributes on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Urban River Birds
by Qian Mao, Jianxin Sun, Yuanyuan Deng, Zhaolu Wu and Haotian Bai
Diversity 2023, 15(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15040486 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Several studies have revealed that urban rivers with relatively complete habitat structures can support a high level of biodiversity in urban areas. However, few studies have analyzed the impact of the plan, design, and management of multi-scale urban riverside green space on bird [...] Read more.
Several studies have revealed that urban rivers with relatively complete habitat structures can support a high level of biodiversity in urban areas. However, few studies have analyzed the impact of the plan, design, and management of multi-scale urban riverside green space on bird communities by assessing several aspects of diversity (e.g., taxonomic and functional). In this study, we explored bird community variation (taxonomic and functional) among three rivers (28 sampling sites) with different levels of human disturbance along the urban development gradient in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, during an annual cycle. This study related bird species richness and functional diversity to environmental variables at three spatial scales: landscape metrics at two different landscape scales (500 and 100 m radius) and vegetation structure at patch scales (20 m radius). Using partial least squares regression (PLSR) and multiple linear regression, we found that bird species richness and functional diversity were strongly related to various landscape- and patch-level variables. Multiple linear regression models revealed that, compared with the richness influenced by explanatory variables on three spatial scales (500, 100, and 20 m), the functional diversity was significantly influenced by explanatory variables on the 100 and 20 m scales. Tree cover at the 20 m scale had significantly positive impacts on bird species richness and functional diversity. Forest land in the 100 m scale had a significantly positive effect on bird species richness and functional diversity, while construction land in the two landscape scales (the 500- and 100 m scales) had a significantly negative effect on species richness. Accordingly, we suggest that urban riverside green space should be planned and managed at multiple scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions II)
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13 pages, 1545 KiB  
Article
Key Factors Strengthening Residents’ Psychological Well-Being and Critical Human-Nature Connections within the Living Spaces—An Example from Beijing
by Shilin Xie, Quan Pan, Hua Zheng, Nengwen Xiao and Junsheng Li
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030438 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Background: Residential green spaces and the co-inhabiting bird communities provide critical cultural ecosystem services for urban dwellers, which is critical for citizens’ psychological well-being but has largely been overlooked, especially in China. This study attempted to delineate the relationship between human-nature interactions occurring [...] Read more.
Background: Residential green spaces and the co-inhabiting bird communities provide critical cultural ecosystem services for urban dwellers, which is critical for citizens’ psychological well-being but has largely been overlooked, especially in China. This study attempted to delineate the relationship between human-nature interactions occurring at different scenarios in the health deriving procedure, and identify the key factors influencing urban residents’ psychological well-being and the potential critical human-nature connections within their living spaces. Methods: Bird, plant, and social surveys were sequentially conducted. A model selection procedure based on AICc information was used to find the key factors that are responsible for residents’ psychological well-being, and logistic regression analysis was conducted to figure out the key drivers for the occurrence of critical within-living-space human-nature connections. Results: Most of the respondents are aware of the neighborhood biodiversity and most of them are fond of it, and respondents who prefer fauna over flora have a considerably lower depression degree. Watching birds is the only critical within-living-space nature-related activity that is responsible for residents’ psychological well-being. Both residents’ psychological well-being and bird watching activity were simultaneously affected by nature-related activities within and outside the living spaces, while their preference for different aspects of biodiversity and their capability in perceiving them were also important, despite the difference in exact parameters. In addition, personal attributes such as age, financial income, and physical or mental health status also contribute to psychological well-being. Conclusions: This study successfully bridged citizens’ minds with health products, and the major contribution was the demonstration of a spatial-scale-oriented circuit for people-nature connections, which contributes to the practical application of nature-based therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions II)
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14 pages, 5380 KiB  
Article
Artificial Green Corridors in an Andean City as Effective Support of Avian Diversity
by Alain Hambuckers, Johann Delcourt, Bryan Leborgne and Jennifer R. A. Cahill
Diversity 2023, 15(2), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15020302 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2714
Abstract
Ensuring connectivity in the countryside and cities is a key element of nature protection, allowing genetic fluxes between populations in fragmented ecosystems. We tested the hypothesis that artificial green corridors are effective for birds in the city of Cochabamba (Bolivia). We compared the [...] Read more.
Ensuring connectivity in the countryside and cities is a key element of nature protection, allowing genetic fluxes between populations in fragmented ecosystems. We tested the hypothesis that artificial green corridors are effective for birds in the city of Cochabamba (Bolivia). We compared the following aspects of natural corridors, with generally preserved vegetation, to those of artificial corridors, constituting parks and gardens in a matrix of streets densely planted with trees: species abundance and richness, functional diversity, and the traits of bird communities. We used canonical redundancy analysis to relate species abundance to the corridor type, noise, tree vegetation structure, richness, and functional diversity. We also tested the explanatory factors for relationships with bird species richness, functional diversity, and traits. We found that most species were shared between the corridor types; the corridor type, nevertheless, had significant effects, with bird species in the green corridors being more common and heavier and having a lower beak depth/mass. By contrast, noise-reflecting urbanization deeply affected all of the studied traits, indicating large shifts in species composition. In conclusion, green corridors seem reliable enough to maintain birds at a level almost comparable to that in linear corridors, but noise is a limiting factor for efficiency for both types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Human-Environment Interactions II)
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