Biodiversity and ecosystems

Biodiversity and ecosystems are foundational to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are explicitly recognized in SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), which aim to conserve and sustainably use aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems also support SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) by providing the variety of life that underpins agricultural productivity. They contribute to SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) by providing essential water filtration services, and to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) by regulating disease and offering potential sources for medical discoveries. Moreover, these biological resources play a significant role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, linking to SDG 13 (Climate Action). Hence, the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems is essential to achieving multiple SDGs.

With increasing pressure on chemical solutions to pests and diseases from the public, and growing resistance from plants as well as the risk to bees and other beneficial insects, farmers urgently need viable alternatives. Farmers Weekly talked to a UK farmer who is relying on biological controls to keep his oilseed rape healthy and yields profitable. This helps support SDG 12 - responsible consumption and production.
Picture showing different livelihoods in the wetland studied

Although wetlands are known to provide vital ecosystem services, the current state of wetlands in Ethiopia in terms of their ecosystem service components remains poorly understood. Wetlands located in the UNESCO Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve have been highly degraded, but possess highly valuable resources. Therefore, this study sought to assess the major ecological states and identify the main ecosystem services (ESs), along with local people's perceptions of wetland management. Nine wetlands were selected from pristine/reference, agricultural and urban land uses of the Lake Tana area.


Jean-Pierre Desforges, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, Milton Levin, Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology, Academic Press, 2018, Pages 321-343

This chapter advances SDGs 13 and 14 by discussing environmental threats to marine mammals' health and wellbeing.
This book chapter addresses goals 13, 15, 11 and 14 by discussing conservation efforts to protect biodiversity on tropical islands
PCC Systems community 10K Trees challenge
Supports Goal 15. The HPCC Systems community 10K Trees challenge has launched in conjunction with the National Forest Foundation’s effort to plant 50 million trees across the National Forests of the USA by 2023.

Mangrove forests provide critical services around the globe to both human populations and the ecosystems they occupy. However, losses of mangrove habitat of more than 50% have been recorded in some parts of the world, and these losses are largely attributable to human activities. The importance of mangroves and the threats to their persistence have long been recognized, leading to actions taken locally, by national governments, and through international agreements for their protection. In this review, we explore the status of mangrove forests as well as efforts to protect them.

To establish an estimation procedure for reliable catch amount of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, light-gathering fishing operations in the northwestern Pacific were analyzed based on the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) day/night band (DNB) data provided by the Suomi National Polar Partnership (SNPP) satellite. The estimated fishing activities were compared with the navigation tracks of vessels obtained from the automatic identification system (AIS).
The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is the difference between ecosystem CO2 assimilation and CO2 losses to the atmosphere. Ecosystem respiration (Reco), the efflux of CO2 from the ecosystem to the atmosphere, includes the soil-to-atmosphere carbon flux (i.e., soil respiration; Rsoil) and aboveground plant respiration. Therefore, Rsoil is a fraction of Reco and theoretically has to be smaller than Reco at daily, seasonal, and annual scales.
In many tropical regions, such as New Caledonia, soil erosion from anthropogenic activities and subsequent ecological restoration are major issues that require detailed soil and vegetation data for the production of management plans. To determine if some plant species are more useful for stabilizing soil aggregates and thus reducing erodibility, we examined three species endemic to New Caledonia, and measured how root traits and associated mycorrhizas and fungi influenced Ferralsol aggregate stability (MWD).
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 254, 15 February 2018
Globally, agriculture has intensified during the past 50 years due to increased mechanization, changes in the timing of farming operations, grassland conversion to cropland, and increased agrochemical inputs. Birds associated with farmlands and grasslands in North America have experienced severe declines over the last several decades, prompting the need for a comprehensive review of the drivers, mechanisms and magnitude of effects on bird populations.