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Scaling in ecology and biodiversity conservation explained in a book and an online tool

The 5-year EU project Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal, and Ecological Scales (SCALES) has come to an end in July 2014 resulting in a first of its kind description of challenges that arise in protecting biodiversity across different scales.

A wide range of practical methods and recommendations to improve conservation at regional, national and supranational scales are included in a book published as a synthesis of project outcomes. The book "Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation" was published in advanced open access via Pensoft Publisher's Advanced Books platform. This innovative format aimed at accelerating data publishing, mining, sharing and reuse, offers a range of semantic enhancements to book contents, including external sources.

Results are also presented in an easy to use interactive SCALETOOL, specifically developed for the needs of policy and decision-makers. The tool also provides access to a range of biodiversity data and driver maps compiled or created in the project.

Human actions, motivated by social and economic driving forces, generate various pressures on biodiversity, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, land use related disturbance patterns, or species invasions that have an impact on biodiversity.

Each of these factors acts at characteristic scales, and the scales of social and economic demands, of environmental pressures, of biodiversity impacts, of scientific analysis, and of governmental responses do not necessarily match. However, management of the living world will be effective only if we understand how problems and solutions change with scale.

'The book and the tool are the first of their kind and would be of great help to everyone concerned with the conservation of biodiversity. They provide ideas of how to handle complex issues of scaling in applied and theoretical environmental studies' says the chief editor Prof. Klaus Henle.

The book aims to bundle the main results of SCALES in a comprehensive manner and present it in a way that is usable not only for scientists but also for people making decisions in administration, management, policy or even business and NGOs; to people who are more interested in the "practical" side of this issue.

Guidelines, practical solutions and special tools are also presented as a special web based portal, SCALETOOL, which puts together scientific outcomes widely spread over the scientific literature.


Contact: Klaus Henle
Pensoft Publishers

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