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      Guidelines for the monitoring of Morimus asper funereus and Morimus asper asper

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Morimus asper is a morphologically variable longhorn beetle that occurs in large parts of southern and central Europe. Although this saproxylic beetle is widespread in old-growth forests or well-structured woodlands, its populations are currently threatened by forest practices, such as the removal of wood (branches and logs). Morimus funereus is considered a valid species by some authors and is included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. However, a recent molecular study found that all European and Turkish populations should be referred to a single species, M. asper. In this paper, the monitoring methods proposed for M. asper (sensu lato) in the various European countries are reviewed and the research carried out in Italy, which was aimed at developing guidelines for its monitoring, is presented. The experiments conducted, mainly with log piles built from freshly cut wood, investigated, amongst other things, the importance of wood type, diameter of logs and age of wood for the number of individuals observed. Based on these results and on a literature review, a detailed monitoring method for M. asper is proposed here, together with a discussion on its constraints, spatial validity and possible interferences. In order to facilitate the assessment of the conservation status of populations of M. asper and to allow for comparisons between populations and over time, a method for the calculation of a reference value, based on the monitoring method, is also presented.

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          Most cited references 15

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          A framework for understanding ecological traps and an evaluation of existing evidence.

          When an animal settles preferentially in a habitat within which it does poorly relative to other available habitats, it is said to have been caught in an "ecological trap." Although the theoretical possibility that animals may be so trapped is widely recognized, the absence of a clear mechanistic understanding of what constitutes a trap means that much of the literature cited as support for the idea may be weak, at best. Here, we develop a conceptual model to explain how an ecological trap might work, outline the specific criteria that are necessary for demonstrating the existence of an ecological trap, and provide tools for researchers to use in detecting ecological traps. We then review the existing literature and summarize the state of empirical evidence for the existence of traps. Our conceptual model suggests that there are two basic kinds of ecological traps and three mechanisms by which traps may be created. To this point in time, there are still only a few solid empirical examples of ecological traps in the published literature (although those few examples suggest that both types of traps and all three of the predicted mechanisms do exist in nature). Therefore, ecological traps are either rare in nature, are difficult to detect, or both. An improved library of empirical studies will be essential if we are to develop a more synthetic understanding of the mechanisms that can trigger maladaptive behavior in general and the specific conditions under which ecological traps might occur.
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            A Red List of Italian Saproxylic Beetles: taxonomic overview, ecological features and conservation issues (Coleoptera)

            The main objectives of this review are: 1) the compilation and updating of a reference database for Italian saproxylic beetles, useful to assess the trend of their populations and communities in the next decades; 2) the identification of the major threats involving the known Italian species of saproxylic beetles; 3) the evaluation of the extinction risk for all known Italian species of saproxylic beetles; 4) the or- ganization of an expert network for studying and continuous updating of all known species of saproxylic beetle species in Italy; 5) the creation of a baseline for future evaluations of the trends in biodiversity conservation in Italy; 6) the assignment of ecological categories to all the Italian saproxylic beetles, useful for the aims of future researches on their communities and on forest environments. The assess- ments of extinction risk are based on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria and the most updated guidelines. The assessments have been carried out by experts covering different regions of Italy, and have been evaluated according to the IUCN standards. All the beetles whose larval biology is sufficiently well known as to be considered saproxylic have been included in the Red List, either the autochtho- nous species (native or possibly native to Italy) or a few allochthonous species recently introduced or probably introduced to Italy in his- toric times. The entire national range of each saproxylic beetle species was evaluated, including large and small islands; for most species, the main parameters considered for evaluation were the extent of their geographical occurrence in Italy, and the number of known sites of presence. 2049 saproxylic beetle species (belonging to 66 families) have been listed, assigned to a trophic category (Table 3) and 97% of them have been assessed. On the whole, threatened species (VU + EN + CR) are 421 (Fig. 6), corresponding to 21 % of the 1988 as- sessed species; only two species are formally recognized to be probably Regionally Extinct in Italy in recent times. Little less than 65% of the Italian saproxylic beetles are not currently threatened with extinction, although their populations are probably declining. In forest environments, the main threats are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution due to the use of pesticide against forest pests, and habitat simplification due to economic forest management. In coastal environments, the main threats are due to massive touristic exploitation such as the excess of urbanization and infrastructures along the seashore, and the complete removal of woody materials as tree trunks stranded on the beaches, because this kind of intervention is considered an aesthetic amelioration of seaside resorts. The number of spe- cies whose populations may become impoverished by direct harvest (only a few of large forest beetles frequently collected by insect traders) is very small and almost negligible. The Red List is a fundamental tool for the identification of conservation priorities, but it is not a list of priorities on its own. Other elements instrumental to priority setting include the cost of actions, the probability of success,and the proportion of the global population of each species living in Italy, which determines the national responsibility in the long-term conservation of that species. In this scenario, information on all species endemic to Italy, to Corso-Sardinia, to the Tuscan-Corsican ar- eas, and to the Siculo-Maltese insular system are given. A short analysis on relationships among beetle species traits, taxonomy, special- ist approaches, and IUCN Categories of Risk is also presented.
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              A regionally informed abundance index for supporting integrative analyses across butterfly monitoring schemes

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                August 28 2017
                August 28 2017
                : 20
                : 205-236
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.20.12676
                © 2017

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