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      Revised criteria system for a national assessment of threatened habitats in Germany

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      Nature Conservation

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The Red List of threatened habitat types in Germany was first published in 1994 and it is updated approximately every ten years. In 2017 the third version was published by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. In the course of the revision, the criteria system was also extended. In doing so, an attempt was made to find a compromise between the consideration of international developments that had taken place and existing national requirements. In particular, short-term developments should become visible through the German Red List status. In addition to ‘National long-term Threat’, the valuation now also includes ‘Current Trend’ and ‘Rarity’. Following the IUCN’s approach, the collapse risk is now represented on the basis of several criteria. However, in contrast to the IUCN procedure, where the worst evaluated criterion is determinative for Red List status, in our procedure all criteria are included in the evaluation. To counteract misleading signal-effects for management decisions, all significant criteria have an influence on the resulting German Red List status (RLG). They are combined in an assessment scheme. In order to map the overall risk of loss, both the long-term threat as a historical reference value and furthermore the current trend must have an influence on RLG. As a result, 65% of habitat types have differing risk of loss.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Scientific Foundations for an IUCN Red List of Ecosystems

          An understanding of risks to biodiversity is needed for planning action to slow current rates of decline and secure ecosystem services for future human use. Although the IUCN Red List criteria provide an effective assessment protocol for species, a standard global assessment of risks to higher levels of biodiversity is currently limited. In 2008, IUCN initiated development of risk assessment criteria to support a global Red List of ecosystems. We present a new conceptual model for ecosystem risk assessment founded on a synthesis of relevant ecological theories. To support the model, we review key elements of ecosystem definition and introduce the concept of ecosystem collapse, an analogue of species extinction. The model identifies four distributional and functional symptoms of ecosystem risk as a basis for assessment criteria: A) rates of decline in ecosystem distribution; B) restricted distributions with continuing declines or threats; C) rates of environmental (abiotic) degradation; and D) rates of disruption to biotic processes. A fifth criterion, E) quantitative estimates of the risk of ecosystem collapse, enables integrated assessment of multiple processes and provides a conceptual anchor for the other criteria. We present the theoretical rationale for the construction and interpretation of each criterion. The assessment protocol and threat categories mirror those of the IUCN Red List of species. A trial of the protocol on terrestrial, subterranean, freshwater and marine ecosystems from around the world shows that its concepts are workable and its outcomes are robust, that required data are available, and that results are consistent with assessments carried out by local experts and authorities. The new protocol provides a consistent, practical and theoretically grounded framework for establishing a systematic Red List of the world’s ecosystems. This will complement the Red List of species and strengthen global capacity to report on and monitor the status of biodiversity
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            Establishing IUCN Red List Criteria for Threatened Ecosystems

            Abstract The potential for conservation of individual species has been greatly advanced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) development of objective, repeatable, and transparent criteria for assessing extinction risk that explicitly separate risk assessment from priority setting. At the IV World Conservation Congress in 2008, the process began to develop and implement comparable global standards for ecosystems. A working group established by the IUCN has begun formulating a system of quantitative categories and criteria, analogous to those used for species, for assigning levels of threat to ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels. A final system will require definitions of ecosystems; quantification of ecosystem status; identification of the stages of degradation and loss of ecosystems; proxy measures of risk (criteria); classification thresholds for these criteria; and standardized methods for performing assessments. The system will need to reflect the degree and rate of change in an ecosystem's extent, composition, structure, and function, and have its conceptual roots in ecological theory and empirical research. On the basis of these requirements and the hypothesis that ecosystem risk is a function of the risk of its component species, we propose a set of four criteria: recent declines in distribution or ecological function, historical total loss in distribution or ecological function, small distribution combined with decline, or very small distribution. Most work has focused on terrestrial ecosystems, but comparable thresholds and criteria for freshwater and marine ecosystems are also needed. These are the first steps in an international consultation process that will lead to a unified proposal to be presented at the next World Conservation Congress in 2012. Establecimiento de Criterios para la Lista Roja de UICN de Ecosistemas Amenazados Resumen El potencial para la conservación de muchas especies ha avanzado enormemente porque la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN) ha desarrollado criterios objetivos, repetibles y transparentes para evaluar el riesgo de extinción que explícitamente separa la evaluación de riesgo de la definición de prioridades. En el IV Congreso Mundial de Conservación en 2008, el proceso comenzó a desarrollar e implementar estándares globales comparables para ecosistemas. Un grupo de trabajo establecido por la UICN ha formulado un sistema inicial de categorías y criterios cuantitativos, análogos a los utilizados para especies, para asignar niveles de amenaza a ecosistemas a niveles local, regional y global. Un sistema final requerirá de definiciones de ecosistemas; cuantificación del estatus de ecosistemas; identificación de las etapas de degradación y pérdida de los ecosistemas; medidas de riesgo (criterios) alternativas; umbrales de clasificación para esos criterios y métodos estandarizados para la realización de evaluaciones. El sistema deberá reflejar el nivel y tasa de cambio en la extensión, composición, estructura y funcionamiento de un ecosistema, y tener sus raíces conceptuales en la teoría ecológica y la investigación empírica. Sobre la base de esos requerimientos y la hipótesis de que el riesgo del ecosistema es una función del riesgo de las especies que lo componen, proponemos un conjunto de 4 criterios: declinaciones recientes en la distribución o funcionamiento ecológica, pérdida total histórica en la distribución o funcionamiento ecológico, distribución pequeña combinada con declinación, o distribución muy pequeña. La mayor parte del trabajo se ha concentrado en ecosistemas terrestres, pero también se requieren umbrales y criterios comparables para ecosistemas dulceacuícolas y marinos. Estos son los primeros pasos de un proceso de consulta internacional que llevará a una propuesta unificada que será presentada en el próximo Congreso Mundial de Conservación en 2012.
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              A practical guide to the application of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems criteria

              The newly developed IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is part of a growing toolbox for assessing risks to biodiversity, which addresses ecosystems and their functioning. The Red List of Ecosystems standard allows systematic assessment of all freshwater, marine, terrestrial and subterranean ecosystem types in terms of their global risk of collapse. In addition, the Red List of Ecosystems categories and criteria provide a technical base for assessments of ecosystem status at the regional, national, or subnational level. While the Red List of Ecosystems criteria were designed to be widely applicable by scientists and practitioners, guidelines are needed to ensure they are implemented in a standardized manner to reduce epistemic uncertainties and allow robust comparisons among ecosystems and over time. We review the intended application of the Red List of Ecosystems assessment process, summarize 'best-practice' methods for ecosystem assessments and outline approaches to ensure operational rigour of assessments. The Red List of Ecosystems will inform priority setting for ecosystem types worldwide, and strengthen capacity to report on progress towards the Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. When integrated with other IUCN knowledge products, such as the World Database of Protected Areas/Protected Planet, Key Biodiversity Areas and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Red List of Ecosystems will contribute to providing the most complete global measure of the status of biodiversity yet achieved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Conservation
                NC
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-3301
                1314-6947
                July 01 2020
                July 01 2020
                : 40
                : 39-64
                Article
                10.3897/natureconservation.40.50656
                © 2020

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