, Volume 4, Issue 9, pp 951-963

A multivariate approach to the selection of biological reserves

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Multivariate analysis provides an effective context for the examination of some significant aspects of biodiversity and conservation. The framework is a multidimensional space that integrates sample sites, taxa and environments. This approach enables terms such as representativeness, complementarity and irreplaceability to be integrated within an intuitive and practical framework for reserve design. Cluster analysis is proposed to determine ‘what is there’ by defining a set of complementary clusters. These clusters are sampled in a representative manner; from the core outward. The degree of irreplaceability of a site is defined as the multivariate distance of each potential reserve site to its nearest neighbour.