Wed 13 Aug 2014: 10am @ DBS CR2 – Cecilia Larrosa on Unintended Feedbacks: Implications and Applications for Conservation

Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

“Unintended Feedbacks: Implications and Applications for Conservation”

Cecilia Larrosa
Graduate Student,
Ecological Modelling And Economics Lab
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
Supervisor: Asst Prof L Roman Carrasco

Wed 13 Aug 2014: 10am
At the DBS Conference Room II (S1, Level 3, mezzanine)

All are welcome

Abstract: – Unintended effects of planned conservation interventions can feedback to produce undermined and even perverse outcomes. The unintended feedbacks of conservation interventions, modulated through human decision-making, are poorly studied but have wide implications for project design, evaluation of conservation success and outcome prediction.

Drawing on examples from conservation science, I present a conceptual framework and a typology of unintended feedbacks based on a social-ecological systems (SES) approach, and analyse implications for conservation. The moment a conservation intervention is implemented it becomes part of the system, and feedbacks develop as part of the SES. Three types of causal mechanisms for unintended feedbacks can be distinguished: (1) Flow unintended feedbacks are due to the enhancement or dampening of pre-existing feedback loops within the SES; (2) Deletion unintended feedbacks occur when pre-existing feedback loops within the SES are lost; and (3) Addition unintended feedbacks occur when interventions add actors or links to the SES structure.

For future work, I present three proposals; firstly, to analyse the effect of a much debated deforestation reduction policy –land sparing– accounting for market feedback effects. This will be applied to the case study of oil palm intensification in Indonesia. Additionally, I propose to examine the effect of including market feedback effects into spatial conservation planning for payment for ecosystem services in the Atlantic forest of Brazil. Finally, I propose to investigate the impact of accounting for land market feedbacks in predictions of ecosystem service provision by a widely used policy support tool.

Considering unintended feedbacks can improve our understanding of responses to, success, and outcomes of conservation interventions. The presented work is a first step towards it, promoting discussion of unintended feedbacks, and the proposed work will examine the role these unintended feedbacks play in conservation practice.”


Mon 11 Aug 2014: 2.00pm @ DBS Conf Rm II: Zeng Yiwen on “Natural and anthrogenic interactions between freshwater crabs & crayfish”

Qualifying Examination

“Natural and Anthropogenic Interactions between Freshwater Crabs and Crayfish”

zeng_yiwenZeng Yiwen
Graduate Student,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS
Supervisor: Asst Prof. Darren Yeo

Mon 11 Aug 2014: 2.00pm
DBS Conference Room II (S2 Level 3, Mezzaine)

All are welcome

Abstract – “Freshwater crabs and crayfish are functionally similar decapod crustaceans that are distributed in land waters of every continent except Antarctica. The global distribution of the two groups is to a large extent mutually exclusive, apart from a few areas of overlap (sympatry). Even within the overlapping geographic areas, crabs and crayfish are generally not known to naturally occur syntopically. This seeming spatial separation of species has been attributed to a combination of abiotic and biotic factors.

In recent years, increasing translocation and introduction of freshwater decapods beyond their natural distributional boundaries has resulted in non-indigenous crayfish directly interacting with native crabs and vice versa. This test of the natural segregation of the two taxa, which occupy similar ecological niches roles, presents an opportunity to study the potential interactions between the taxa and disentangle factors driving their distribution patterns. This study applies a variety of approaches to investigate abiotic factors that predict potential distribution of non-indigenous decapods at global and local scales. Behavioural and survival experiments are also applied to determine if current distributional patterns might also (or instead) be driven by biological interactions. Results will not only contribute to our understanding of factors influencing freshwater decapod biogeography, but also inform management strategies regarding control of non-indigenous species.”