Category Archives: Biodiversity

Viele landwirtschaftliche Subventionen in der Schweiz wirken sich negativ auf die Biodiversität aus

Um den Biodiversitätsverlust zu bremsen, finanzieren der Bund und die Kantone verschiedenen biodiversitätsfördernde Massnahmen. Mit einem Vielfachen dieser Beträge werden Aktivitäten finanziert, die Lebensräume und Arten direkt oder indirekt schädigen. Insgesamt 207 Subventionen in verschienden Bereichen sind es die ganz, teilweise oder indirekt Biodiversität schädigen. Zu dieser Schlussfolgerung kommt unsere Untersuchung zusammen mit WSL und in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Forum Biodiversität, aus welcher ein Faktenblatt des SCNAT hervorgegangen ist (Gubler et al., 2020).

Darin werden im Bereich der Landwirtschaft einige Verbesserungen der Subventionspraxis vorgeschlagen, um biodiversitätsschädigende Subventionen bis 2020 zu beseitigen, schrittweise abzubauen oder umzugestalten.

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Principles for participation in competing demands for land use

Global demand for agricultural products is competing with scarce land resources and environmental protection especially biodiversity protection and the increasing thread of shortages of water and nutrients. How can we ensure biodiversity and ecosystem protection in fragile habitats if we struggle to satisfy the demand of the world population for food, energy and housing?

Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses (Sayer et al., 2013) can help to guide the process of decision-making in the landscape context. These principles emphasize that we will need a people-centred approach applied at landscape scales and a focus on multifunctional landscapes. The principles in short:

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Maintaining Plant Biodiversity in Cities

Using Urban Design for a Better Green Infrastructure in Zurich

By Kevin Vega

What evidence was useful for policymaking?

Understanding the effects of urban design on plant species composition in cities is essential to maintaining biodiversity overall, promoting urban resilience in the face of climate change, and improving life quality for a city’s residents. Functional ecosystems can benefit pollinators, reduce urban flooding, and improve air quality –all while looking aesthetically pleasing.

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How can biodiversity-ecosystem function research (BEF) be used to inform ecosystem managers and policy-makers?

Ecosystem researchers currently do different types of BEF research. How can these studies be used in policymaking? A recent analysis with involvement of Prof. Nina Buchmann from ETH Zurich and member of PSC came up with recommendations:

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How can policymakers decide if protected areas (=PA) in the Alps will be able to secure high-species richness under climate future change?

Protected areas like the Swiss National Park should conserve native plant and animal species in the Alps now and in the future. With upcoming climate change the habitats of species shift and the spatial distribution of alpine biodiversity is changing.

Can researchers predict if protected areas can uphold conservation goals under these changing conditions? How can policymakers decide if they need to update the boundaries of existing protected areas or if new ones need to be created in specific areas to conserve alpine biodiversity?

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Dramatic Loss of Food Plants for Insects

The diversity of food plants for insects in the canton of Zurich has dramatically decreased over the past 100 years or so. This means that bees, flies and butterflies are increasingly deprived of their food base, a team of researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Zurich (Reto Nyffler, Michael Kessler) and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL has demonstrated. The results are transferable to the whole of Central Europe, with minor regional restrictions.

Source: https://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2020/Loss-of-Plants.html

Stefan Abrahamczyk, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Michael Nobis, Reto Nyffeler, Michael Kessler: Shifts in food plant abundance for flower-visiting insects between 1900 and 2017 in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland, Ecological Applications, 23 April 2020. DOI: 10.1002/eap.2138