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      Conservation status of Italian coastal dune habitats in the light of the 4th Monitoring Report (92/43/EEC Habitats Directive)

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          Abstract

          Coastal dunes are among habitats with the worst conservation status on a global, European and national scale. Monitoring and reporting are of strategic importance to determine the effectiveness of the implementation of Habitats Directive and to preserve the unique biodiversity heritage of the Italian dunes. In this study we show main results of the 4th National Report with specific reference to the macro-habitat “Coastal Sand Dunes and Inland Dunes”, highlighting its updated current conservation status at the national and Biogeographical level. A comprehensive Working Group of territorial experts collected, updated, validated and integrated the data available for 11 Annex I Habitats, distributed in the Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean Biogeographical Regions. The conservation status was evaluated through the following criteria: geographic range, surface area, structure, functions, pressures, threats, conservation measures and prospects. Results highlighted the dramatically bad conservation status of Italian dune Habitats: the overall assessment reported 88% of habitats in bad conservation status and the remaining 12% is in inadequate conditions. Results showed a generalised threat and a worrying conservation status both on herbaceous and wooded communities, in particular in some relevant habitats, such as the shifting dunes. Main pressures and threats were linked to residential, commercial and industrial activities, as well as alien species. Although some of the changes in distribution and trends are probably deriving from more accurate and updated data, the alarming conservation status of Italian sand dunes requires a better knowledge of pressures and threats for further management actions and monitoring plans, inside and outside protected areas.

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          Economic reasons for conserving wild nature.

          On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it is timely to assess progress over the 10 years since its predecessor in Rio de Janeiro. Loss and degradation of remaining natural habitats has continued largely unabated. However, evidence has been accumulating that such systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest exceed those obtained from continued habitat conversion. We estimate that the overall benefit:cost ratio of an effective global program for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1.
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            A standard lexicon for biodiversity conservation: unified classifications of threats and actions.

            An essential foundation of any science is a standard lexicon. Any given conservation project can be described in terms of the biodiversity targets, direct threats, contributing factors at the project site, and the conservation actions that the project team is employing to change the situation. These common elements can be linked in a causal chain, which represents a theory of change about how the conservation actions are intended to bring about desired project outcomes. If project teams want to describe and share their work and learn from one another, they need a standard and precise lexicon to specifically describe each node along this chain. To date, there have been several independent efforts to develop standard classifications for the direct threats that affect biodiversity and the conservation actions required to counteract these threats. Recognizing that it is far more effective to have only one accepted global scheme, we merged these separate efforts into unified classifications of threats and actions, which we present here. Each classification is a hierarchical listing of terms and associated definitions. The classifications are comprehensive and exclusive at the upper levels of the hierarchy, expandable at the lower levels, and simple, consistent, and scalable at all levels. We tested these classifications by applying them post hoc to 1191 threatened bird species and 737 conservation projects. Almost all threats and actions could be assigned to the new classification systems, save for some cases lacking detailed information. Furthermore, the new classification systems provided an improved way of analyzing and comparing information across projects when compared with earlier systems. We believe that widespread adoption of these classifications will help practitioners more systematically identify threats and appropriate actions, managers to more efficiently set priorities and allocate resources, and most important, facilitate cross-project learning and the development of a systematic science of conservation.
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              Threats to sandy beach ecosystems: A review

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Plant Sociology
                Plant Sociology
                Pensoft Publishers
                2704-6192
                2280-1855
                June 15 2020
                June 15 2020
                : 57
                : 1
                : 55-64
                Article
                10.3897/pls2020571/05
                © 2020

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