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Biodiversity and Livelihood development in Land-use gradients in an Era of Climate Change

English title Biodiversity and Livelihood development in Land-use gradients in an Era of Climate Change
Applicant Scheidegger Christoph
Number 131338
Funding scheme Resource not found: 'bd31932a-e257-46d9-9dba-079f6f2c77c6'
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Botany
Start/End 01.12.2010 - 30.06.2014
Approved amount 468'329.00
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Keywords (7)

Biodiversity; Nepal; Biodiversity; Conservation; Climate Change; Himalayas; Nepal

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
The effects of climate change in mountain regions are expected to be more intense and detectable than in many other regions of the world since climatic conditions vary sharply with elevation. In this project we are studying how different levels of land-use intensity (from primeval forests to arable fields) do affect biodiversity. We will investigate land-use gradients at various altitudes in the regions Manaslu, Sagarmatha (Everest) and Kanchenjunga, which differ in seasonal precipitation.
Lay summary
The effects of climate change in mountain regions are expected to be more intense and detectable than in many other regions of the world since climatic conditions vary sharply with elevation. The climatic impacts on fragile ecosystems of Nepal's Himalaya are no exception. It is increasingly being observed that biological systems are disrupted, migrations are starting earlier and species' geographic ranges are shifting. The overall goal of this research collaboration is to identify and analyze threats and opportunities related to climate change. In mountain regions, climate warming is generally considered to be correlated with a change in seasonal precipitation. Both changes will influence the way and intensity of human land use. In our project we therefore propose to study how different levels of land-use intensity (from primeval forests to arable fields) do affect biodiversity. We will investigate replicated land-use gradients at various altitudes in three regions with a different regional climate, and in particular, different levels of seasonal precipitation.Our core study region will be the Manasalu Conservation Area characterized by an oceanic climate and this region will be compared to a hyper-oceanic region in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area and a semi-oceanic region of the Sagarmatha (Everest) region. By using a quasi-experimental landscape approach organisms will be investigated in six valleys covering different precipitation regimes, altitudinal gradients of 1600 m representing different temperatures, and four land use types ranging from closed forests to open landscapes. These organisms will include plants, lichens, mushrooms, butterflies and birds. Population data of Red Listed mammals (Flags
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 01.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Characterization of microsatellite loci in the Himalayan lichen fungus Lobaria pindarensis (Lobariaceae)
Devkota S, Cornejo C., Werth S., Chaudhary R.P., Scheidegger C. (2014), Characterization of microsatellite loci in the Himalayan lichen fungus Lobaria pindarensis (Lobariaceae), in Applications in Plant Sciences, 2(5), 1300101.
Bulbophyllum griffithii (Lindley) Reichenbach f. and Platanthera cumminsiana (King &Pantling) J. Renz – two new records of orchids from Nepal
Gajurel J.P., Rai S.K., Shrestha K.K., Scheidegger C., Shakya L.R (2013), Bulbophyllum griffithii (Lindley) Reichenbach f. and Platanthera cumminsiana (King &Pantling) J. Renz – two new records of orchids from Nepal, in Pleione, 7, 253-257.
Development and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in the Endangered Species
Gajurel J. P., Cornejo C., Werth S., Shrestha K.K., Scheidegger C. (2013), Development and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in the Endangered Species, in Applications in Plant Sciences , 1, 1200281.
Peristylus manii (H.G. Reichenbach) Mukerjee [Orchidaceae] - a new record for Nepal
Rai S.K., Gajurel J.P., Shrestha K.K., Scheidegger C., Shakya L.R. (2013), Peristylus manii (H.G. Reichenbach) Mukerjee [Orchidaceae] - a new record for Nepal, in Pleione, 7(1), 250-252.
The  mammalian  fauna  from  the  Central  Himalaya,  Nepal
Katuwal H.B., Khanal B., Basnet K., Rai B., Devkota S., Rai S.K., Nobis M., Scheidegger C. (2013), The  mammalian  fauna  from  the  Central  Himalaya,  Nepal, in Asian  Journal  of  Conservation  Biology, 2(1), 21-29.
Biodiversity and livelihood in land-use gradients in an era of climate change – outline of a Nepal-Swiss research project
Scheidegger Christoph, Nobis Michael P., Shrestha Krishna K. (2010), Biodiversity and livelihood in land-use gradients in an era of climate change – outline of a Nepal-Swiss research project, in Botanica Orientalis, 7, 7-17.
Lessons learned from microsatellite development for nonmodel organisms using 454 pyrosequencing
Schoebel C. N., Brodbeck S., Buehler D., Cornejo C., Gajurel J., Hartikainen H., Keller D., Leys M., Říčanová Š., Segelbacher G., Werth S., Csencsics D., Lessons learned from microsatellite development for nonmodel organisms using 454 pyrosequencing, in Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 10.1111/je.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
CLimate Change Vulnerability in Sagarmatha National Park: Implications to Biodiversity, Environment and Livelihood Talk given at a conference Biodiversity, Climate Change and Livelihood in Sagarmatha National Park 09.04.2014 Kathmandu, Nepal Scheidegger Christoph; Shrestha Krishna;
Seminar at Central Dept. of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal Individual talk Progress Report on Biodiversity, Livelihodd and Climate Change in the Himalayas 17.01.2013 Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Nepal Scheidegger Christoph; Shrestha Krishna;
The 2nd Asia Regional Conference of the Society for Conservation Biology - Asia Section Talk given at a conference Development and Multiplexing of new Microsatellite Markers for the Mycobiont of Lobaria pindarensis 07.08.2012 Bangalore, India, India Scheidegger Christoph;
IAL7 Talk given at a conference Trade and traditional knowledge of lichens in Nepal Himalayas 09.01.2012 Bangkok, Thaliand, Thailand Scheidegger Christoph;
XVIII International Botanical Congress Poster Biodiversity, Livelihood and CLimate Change in the Himalayas 23.07.2011 Melbourne, Australia, Australia Shrestha Krishna;
Biodiversity, Livelihood and Climate Change in the Himalayas Individual talk Biodiversity, Livelihood and Climate Change in the Himalayas 12.12.2010 Tribhuvan University, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation, Nepal Scheidegger Christoph; Shrestha Krishna;


Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Biodiversity, Livelihood and Climate Change in the Himalayas 05.01.2013 Agurath, Nepal
Biodiversity and Livelihood development in Land-use gradients in an Era of Climate Change in the Manaslu Conservation Area 14.04.2011 Manaslu Conservation Area- Nubri Valley, Nepal

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Biodiversity and Livelihood Development in Land-use gradients in an Era of Climate Change Website of project at partner's webserver International 2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
127346 Phylogeography of Dictyochloropsis reticulata, the photobiont of the lichen forming fungus Lobaria pulmonaria, their co-evolutionary processes and the implications for a global conservation strategy of a threatened mutualistic symbiosis. 01.12.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The effects of climate change in mountain regions are expected to be more intense and detectable than in many other regions of the world since climatic conditions vary sharply with elevation. The climatic impacts on fragile ecosystems of Nepal’s Himalaya are no exception. It is increasingly being observed that biological systems are disrupted, migrations are starting earlier and species' geographic ranges are shifting. The overall goal of this research collaboration is to identify and analyze threats and opportunities related to climate change. In mountain regions, climate warming is generally considered to be correlated with a change in seasonal precipitation. Both changes will influence the way and intensity of human land use. In our project we therefore propose to study how different levels of land-use intensity (from primeval forests to arable fields) do affect biodiversity. We propose to study replicated land-use gradients at various altitudes in three regions with a different regional climate, and in particular, different levels of seasonal precipitation.Our core study region will be the Manasalu Conservation Area characterized by an oceanic climate and this region will be compared to a hyper-oceanic region in Annapurna Conservation Area and a semi-oceanic region of the Sagarmatha (Everest) region. By using a quasi-experimental landscape approach organisms will be investigated in six valleys covering different precipitation regimes, along altitudinal gradients of 1600 m representing different temperatures, and within four land use types ranging from closed forests to open landscapes. These organisms will include plants, lichens, mushrooms, butterflies and birds. Population data of Red Listed mammals (Flagship species) will be collected during the project by local authorities. The functional connectivity of forest fragments along land-use and climate gradients will be assessed for two intensively studied species (Lobaria pindarensis, Taxus wallichiana) with different mating systems and dispersal strategies. The project is subdivided into six workpackages (WP). The detailed description of the study areas and sites will be carried out in WP 1. The assessment of biodiversity along the land-use gradients will be carried out in WP2 and in WP 3 local and regional geneflow will be studied for two species in order to assess functional connectivity. Data analyses are assigned to two different work packages: In WP4 all present-day data will be prepared and analyzed, whereas significant effects between biodiversity and environment will be used in WP5 to develop and evaluate biodiversity scenarios under future environmental change. The outcomes of the research project will be summarised and the consequences for sustainable land-use and appropriate conservation measures to mitigate climate change effects in the study region will be discussed with stakeholders and appropriate documentations will be elaborated in WP6. Methods for the biodiversity assessment along land-use gradients have been developed by the applicant in a European Framework Programme and corresponding data sets of the Swiss Biodiversity Monitoring program have been analyzed in detail by M. Nobis. In the Nepalese team, expertise on local effects of global changes in people's livelihood, vegetation and cultural landscapes in upper Manang valley has been developed in a current collaboration with the University of Bergen. Our project will build on this experience and establish intensive biodiversity research activities in three less investigated regions of Nepal. Nepali PhD students will be trained in population genetics methods (2) and ecological modelling at WSL. One student will follow a Ph.D. programme at a Swiss University and the other two students will do their Ph.D. at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. In three years of project duration 6 M.Sc students from Tribhuvan University will be trained and funded for their dissertations and will be jointly supervised by professors from Nepal and Switzerland. The project will invest in capacity building in Nepal by giving special lectures in topics not currently covered by the Universities, and by training programmes for local authorities and parataxonomists. The mutual collaboration will be established with the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation / Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC); National Trust for Nature Conservation, Nepal (NTNC, Nepal) and the Swiss Foundation for Development and International Cooperation Nepal / Nepal Swiss Community Forestry Project along with the Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Nepal that will be the main partner organization. The project will emphasise on the infrastructure strengthening of the collaborating institutions, including local CBOs.
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