skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


This content will become publicly available on July 1, 2024

Title: Analyzing spillovers from food, energy and water conservation behaviors using insights from systems perspective
Abstract

Spillover effects are considered important in evaluating the impacts of food, energy and water (FEW) conservation behaviors for limiting global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Failure to account for all possible spillovers, or indirect and unintended results of an intervention, not only obscures valuable information pertaining to the dynamic interactions across domains but also results in biased estimates. In this study, we first systematically reviewed articles that investigate the idea that the performance of one pro-environmental behavior influences the conduct of subsequent behaviors(s) from the FEW domains. From our review of 48 studies in the last decade, we note that a big part of the discussion on spillover concerns the nature and direction of causal relationships between individual FEW conservation behaviors. We identify a critical gap in the literature regarding the distinction between spillover effects caused by the interventions as distinct from those caused by the primary behaviors. Next, we conducted a quantitative meta-analysis of the reviewed empirical studies to find a modest but overall positive spillover effect. Finally, we reviewed the theoretical and methodological plurality in the FEW spillover literature using a systemic thinking lens to summarize what is already known and identify future challenges and research opportunities with significant policy implications.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1639342
NSF-PAR ID:
10486650
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Cambridge University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Behavioural Public Policy
Volume:
7
Issue:
3
ISSN:
2398-063X
Page Range / eLocation ID:
773-807
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["pro-environmental behaviors","spillover effects","food, energy and water nexus","behavioral spillover","systems approach"]
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Introduced hosts are capable of introducing parasite species and altering the abundance of parasites that are already present in native hosts, but few studies have compared the tolerances of native and invasive hosts to introduced parasites or identified the traits of introduced hosts that make them supershedders of non‐native parasites.

    Here, we compare the effects of a nematodeAplectana hamatospiculathat is native to Cuba but appears to be introduced to Florida on the native Floridian treefrog,Hyla femoralis, and on the Cuban treefrog (CTF),Osteopilus septentrionalis. We were particularly interested in CTFs because their introduction to Florida has led to reported declines of native treefrogs.

    In the laboratory, infection withA. hamatospiculacaused a greater loss in body mass ofH. femoralisthan CTFs despiteH. femoralisshedding fewer total worms in their faeces than CTFs. Field collections of CTFs,H. femoralis, and another native Floridian treefrog,H.squirella(Squirrel treefrog) from Tampa, FL also showed that CTFs shed more larval worms in their faeces than both native frogs when controlling for body size. Hence, the non‐native CTF is a supershedder of this non‐native parasite that is spilling over to less tolerant native treefrogs.

    Any conservation intervention to reduce the effects of CTFs on native treefrogs would benefit from knowing the traits that contribute to the invasive host being a supershedder of this parasite. Hence, we conducted necropsies on 330 CTFs to determine how host sex and body size affect the abundance ofA. hamatospicula, and two other common parasites in this species (acuariid nematodes and trematode metacercariae).

    There was a significant linear increase inA. hamatospiculaand encysted acuariids with CTF body size, but there was no detectable relationship between host body size and the intensity of metacercariae. Female CTFs were bigger, lived longer and, on average, had moreA. hamatospiculathan male CTFs.

    Synthesis and applications. These results of the study suggest that there is parasite spillover from the invasive Cuban treefrog (CTF) to native treefrogs in Florida. Additionally, at least some of the adverse effects of CTFs on native treefrogs could be caused by the introduction and amplification of this introduced parasite, and female and larger CTFs seem to be amplifying these infections more than males and smaller CTFs, respectively, suggesting that management could benefit from targeting these individuals.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Human perception of risks related to economic damages caused by nearby wildlife can be transmitted through social networks. Understanding how sharing risk information within a human community alters the spatial dynamics of human‐wildlife interactions has important implications for the design and implementation of effective conservation actions. We developed an agent‐based model that simulates farmer livelihood decisions and activities in an agricultural landscape shared with a population of a generic wildlife species (wildlife‐human interactions in shared landscapes [WHISL]). In the model, based on risk perception and economic information, farmers decide how much labor to allocate to farming and whether and where to exclude wildlife from their farms (e.g., through fencing, trenches, or vegetation thinning). In scenarios where the risk perception of farmers was strongly influenced by other farmers, exclusion of wildlife was widespread, resulting in decreased quality of wildlife habitat and frequency of wildlife damages across the landscape. When economic losses from encounters with wildlife were high, perception of risk increased and led to highly synchronous behaviors by farmers in space and time. Interactions between wildlife and farmers sometimes led to a spillover effect of wildlife damage displaced from socially and spatially connected communities to less connected neighboring farms. The WHISL model is a useful conservation‐planning tool because it provides a test bed for theories and predictions about human‐wildlife dynamics across a range of different agricultural landscapes.

     
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Increasingly intensive strategies to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function are being deployed in response to global anthropogenic threats, including intentionally introducing and eradicating species via assisted migration, rewilding, biological control, invasive species eradications, and gene drives. These actions are highly contentious because of their potential for unintended consequences. We conducted a global literature review of these conservation actions to quantify how often unintended outcomes occur and to elucidate their underlying causes. To evaluate conservation outcomes, we developed a community assessment framework for systematically mapping the range of possible interaction types for 111 case studies. Applying this tool, we quantified the number of interaction types considered in each study and documented the nature and strength of intended and unintended outcomes. Intended outcomes were reported in 51% of cases, a combination of intended outcomes and unintended outcomes in 26%, and strictly unintended outcomes in 10%. Hence, unintended outcomes were reported in 36% of all cases evaluated. In evaluating overall conservations outcomes (weighing intended vs. unintended effects), some unintended effects were fairly innocuous relative to the conservation objective, whereas others resulted in serious unintended consequences in recipient communities. Studies that assessed a greater number of community interactions with the target species reported unintended outcomes more often, suggesting that unintended consequences may be underreported due to insufficient vetting. Most reported unintended outcomes arose from direct effects (68%) or simple density‐mediated or indirect effects (25%) linked to the target species. Only a few documented cases arose from more complex interaction pathways (7%). Therefore, most unintended outcomes involved simple interactions that could be predicted and mitigated through more formal vetting. Our community assessment framework provides a tool for screening future conservation actions by mapping the recipient community interaction web to identify and mitigate unintended outcomes from intentional species introductions and eradications for conservation.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Radio‐frequency identification (RFID) technology has gained popularity in ornithological studies as a way to collect large quantities of data to answer specific biological questions, but few published studies report methodologies used for validating the accuracy of RFID data. Further, connections between the RFID data and the behaviors of interest in a study are not always clearly established. These methodological deficiencies may seriously impact a study's results and subsequent interpretation. We built RFID‐equipped bird feeders and mounted them at three sites in Tompkins County, New York. We deployed passive integrated transponder tags on black‐capped chickadees, tufted titmice, and white‐breasted nuthatches and used a GoPro video camera to record the three tagged species at the feeders. We then reviewed the video to determine the accuracy of the RFID reader and understand the birds’ behavior at the feeders. We found that our RFID system recorded only 34.2% of all visits by tagged birds (n = 237) and that RFID detection increased with the length of a visit. We also found that our three tagged species and two other species that visited the feeders, American goldfinch and hairy woodpecker, retrieved food in 79.5% of their visits. Chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and woodpeckers spent, on average, 2.3 s at feeders to collect one seed per visit. In contrast, goldfinches spent an average of 9.0 s at feeders and consumed up to 30 seeds per visit. Our results demonstrate the importance of confirming detection accuracy and that video can be used to identify behavioral characteristics associated with an RFID reader's detections. This simpleyet time‐intensivemethod for assessing the accuracy and biological meaning of RFID data is useful for ornithological studies but can be used in research focusing on various taxa and study systems.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract Introduction

    Non‐routine events (NREs) are atypical or unusual occurrences in a pre‐defined process. Although some NREs in high‐risk clinical settings have no adverse effects on patient care, others can potentially cause serious patient harm. A unified strategy for identifying and describing NREs in these domains will facilitate the comparison of results between studies.

    Methods

    We conducted a literature search in PubMed, CINAHL, and EMBASE to identify studies related to NREs in high‐risk domains and evaluated the methods used for event observation and description. We applied The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) taxonomy (cause, impact, domain, type, prevention, and mitigation) to the descriptions of NREs from the literature.

    Results

    We selected 25 articles that met inclusion criteria for review. Real‐time documentation of NREs was more common than a retrospective video review. Thirteen studies used domain experts as observers and seven studies validated observations with interrater reliability. Using the JCAHO taxonomy, “cause” was the most frequently applied classification method, followed by “impact,” “type,” “domain,” and “prevention and mitigation.”

    Conclusions

    NREs are frequent in high‐risk medical settings. Strengths identified in several studies included the use of multiple observers with domain expertise and validation of the event ascertainment approach using interrater reliability. By applying the JCAHO taxonomy to the current literature, we provide an example of a structured approach that can be used for future analyses of NREs.

     
    more » « less