Capturing biodiversity: selecting priority areas for conservation using different criteria
Article Received: 17 April 2003 Accepted: 12 January 2004 Abstract
International treaties call for the protection of biodiversity in all its manifestations, including ecosystem and species diversities. The selection of most priority area networks focuses, however, primarily on species richness and occurrence. The effectiveness of this approach in capturing higher order manifestations of biodiversity, that is ecosystem and environmental diversity patterns, remains poorly understood. Using a case study of birds and environmental data from South Africa and Lesotho, we test how complementary networks that maximise species diversity perform with regard to their representation of ecosystem and environmental diversity, and vice versa. We compare these results to the performance of the existing reserve network. We conclude that focusing on any single biodiversity component alone is insufficient to protect other components. We offer explanations for this in terms of the autocorrelation of species diversity in environmental space.
Keywords Biodiversity Complementary networks Conservation planning Environmental diversity Existing reserves References Araujo, M.B. 2002 Biodiversity hotspots and zones of ecological transition Conservation Biology 16 1662 1663 Google Scholar Araujo, M.B., et al. 2001 Would environmental diversity be a good surrogate for species diversity? Ecography 24 103 110 Google Scholar Araujo, M.B., Williams, P.H. 2001 The bias of complementarity hotspots toward marginal populations Conservation Biology 15 1710 1720 Google Scholar Araujo, M.B., Williams, P.H., Fuller, R.J. 2002 Dynamics of extinction and the selection of nature reserves Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 269 1971 1980 Google Scholar Araujo, M.B., Densham, P., Humphries, C. 2003 Predicting species diversity with ED: the quest for evidence Ecography 26 380 383 Google Scholar
Barnes K.N. (ed.) 1998. The Important Bird Areas of Southern Africa. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Google Scholar Belbin, L. 1993 Environmental representativeness: regional partitioning and reserve selection Biological Conservation 66 223 230 Google Scholar Bibby, C.J., et al. 1992Putting Biodiversity on the Map: Global Priorities for Conservation ICPB Cambridge, UK Google Scholar Bonn, A., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Gaston, K.J. 2002 Threatened and endemic species: are they good indicators of patterns of biodiversity on a national scale? Ecology Letters 5 733 741 Google Scholar Cabeza, M., Moilanen, A. 2001 Design of reserve networks and the persistence of biodiversity Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 242 248 Google Scholar Channell, R., Lomolino, M.V. 2000 Dynamic biogeography and conservation of endangered species Nature 403 84 86 Google Scholar Chown, S.L., van Rensburg, B.J., Gaston, K.J., Rodrigues, A.S.L., van Jaarsveld, A.S. 2003 Energy, species richness, and human population size: conservation implications at a national scale Ecological Applications 13 1233 1241 Google Scholar Clifford, P., Richardson, S., Hemon, D. 1989 Assessing the significance of the correlation between two spatial processes Biometrics 45 123 134 Google Scholar Cowling, R.M., Heijnis, C.E. 2001 The identification of Broad Habitat Units as biodiversity entities for systematic conservation planning in the Cape Floristic Region South African Journal of Botany 67 15 38 Google Scholar Cowling, R.M., Pressey, R.L., Lombard, A.T., Desmet, P.G., Ellis, A.G. 1999 From representation to persistence: requirements for a sustainable system of conservation areas in the species-rich mediterranean-climate desert of southern Africa Diversity and Distributions 5 51 71 Google Scholar Currie, D. 1991 Energy and large-scale patterns of animal- and plant-species richness American Naturalist 137 27 49 Google Scholar Eeley, H.A.C., Lawes, M.J., Reyers, B. 2001 Priority areas for the conservation of subtropical indigenous forest in southern Africa: a case study from KwaZuluNatal Biodiversity and Conservation 10 1221 1246 Google Scholar Faith, D.P. 2003 Environmental diversity (ED) as surrogate information for species-level biodiversity Ecography 26 374 379 Google Scholar Fairbanks, D.H.K., Benn, G.A. 2000 Identifying regional landscapes for conservation planning: a case study from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Landscape and Urban Planning 50 237 257 Google Scholar Faith, D.P., Walker, P.A. 1996 Environmental diversity: on the best possible use of surrogate data for assessing the relative biodiversity of areas Biodiversity and Conservation 5 399 415 Google Scholar Fairbanks, D.H.K., Reyers, B., van Jaarsveld, A.S. 2001 Species and environment representation: selecting reserves for the retention of avian diversity in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Biological Conservation 98 365 379 Google Scholar Folke, C., Holling, C.S., Perrings, C. 1996 Biological diversity, ecosystems, and the human scale Ecological Applications 6 1018 1024 Google Scholar Gaston, K.J., Rodrigues, A.S.L. 2003 Reserve selection in regions with poor biological data Conservation Biology 17 188 195 Google Scholar Gaston, K.J., Rodrigues, A.S.L., van Rensburg, B.J., Koleff, P., Chown, S.L. 2001 Complementary representation and ecological transition Ecology Letters 4 4 9 Google Scholar Gelderblom, C.M., Bronner, G.N. 1995 Patterns of distribution and protection status of the endemic mammals in South Africa South African Journal of Zoology 30 127 135 Google Scholar Glowka, L. Burhenne-Guilmin, F. Synge, H. McNeely, J.A. Gündling, L. eds. 1994A Guide to the Convention on Biological Diversity IUCNGland Switzerland Google Scholar
Harrison J.A. et al. (eds) 1997. The Atlas of Southern African Birds. Vols. I & II. BirdLife South Africa,
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Google Scholar ILOG 2001CPLEX 7.1. ILOG, Gentilly France Google Scholar Lombard, A.T. 1995 The problems with multi-species conservation: do hotspots, ideal reserves and existing reserves coincide? South African Journal of Zoology 30 145 163 Google Scholar Low, A.B. Rebelo, A.G. eds. 1996Vegetation of South AfricaLesotho and Swaziland Departmetnt of Environmental Affairs & Tourism Pretoria, South Africa Google Scholar Margules, C., Pressey, R.L. 2000 Systematic conservation planning Nature 405 243 253 Google Scholar Moore, J.L., Balmford, A., Brooks, T., Burgess, N.D., Hansen, L.A., Rahbek, C., Williams, P.H. 2003 Performance of sub-Saharan vertebrates as indicator groups for identifying priority areas for conservation Conservation Biology 17 207 218 Google Scholar Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., da Fonseca, G.A.B., Kent, J. 2000 Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities Nature 403 853 858 Google Scholar Nichols, W.F., Killingbeck, K.T., August, P.V. 1998 The influence of geomorphological heterogeneity on biodiversity II. A landscape perspective. Conservation Biology 12 371 379 Google Scholar Noss, R.F. 1990 Indicators for monitoring biodiversity: a hierarchical approach Conservation Biology 4 355 364 Google Scholar Noss, R.F. 1996a Ecosystems as conservation targets Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11 351 Google Scholar
Noss R.F. 1996b. Protected areas: how much is enough? In: Wright R.G. (ed.) National Parks and Protected Areas: Their Role in Environmental Protection. Blackwell Science, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 91– 120.
Google Scholar Peters, R.L. 1992 Conservation of biological diversity in the face of climate change Peters, R.L. Lovejoy, T.E. eds. Global Warming and Biological Diversity Yale University Press New Haven, Connectiant 43 50 Google Scholar Pimm, S.L., Russell, G.J., Gittleman, J.L., Brooks, T.M. 1995 The future of biodiversity Science 269 347 350 Google Scholar Pressey, R.L., Ferrier, S., Hager, T.C., Woods, C.A., Tully, S.L., Weinman, K.M. 1996 How well protected are the forests of north-eastern New South Wales? – Analyses of forest environments in relation to formal protection measures, land tenure and vulnerability to clearing Forest Ecology and Management 85 311 333 Google Scholar Pressey, R.L., Humphries, C.J., Margules, C.R., Vane-Wright, D., Williams, P.H. 1993 Beyond opportunism: key principles for systematic reserve selection Trends in Ecology and Evolution 8 124 128 Google Scholar Pressey, R.L., Taffs, K.H. 2001 Sampling of land types by protected areas: three measures of effectiveness applied to western New South Wales Biological Conservation 101 105 117 Google Scholar Rodrigues, A.S., Gaston, K.J. 2001 How large do reserve networks need to be? Ecology Letters 4 602 609 Google Scholar Rodrigues, A.S., Cerdeira, J.O., Gaston, K.J. 2000 Flexibility, efficiency, and accountability: adapting reserve selection algorithms to more complex conservation problems Ecography 23 565 575 Google Scholar Schulze, R.E. 1997South African Atlas of Agrohydrology and -Climatology Water Research Commission Pretoria, South Africa Google Scholar Siegfried, W.R. 1989 Preservation of species in southern African nature reserves Huntley, B.J. eds. Biotic Diversity in Southern Africa: Concepts and Conservation Oxford University Press Cape Town, South Africa 186 201 Google Scholar Smith, T.B., Kark, S., Schneider, C.J., Wayne, R.K., Moritz, C. 2001 Biodiversity hotspots and beyond: the need for preserving environmental transitions Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 431 Google Scholar Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J., Wege, D.C. 1998 Endemic bird areas of the worldPriorities for conservation BirdLife International Cambridge, UK Google Scholar van Rensburg, B.J., Chown, S.L., Gaston, K.J. 2002 Species richness, environmental correlates, and spatial scale: a test using South Africa American Naturalist 159 566 577 Google Scholar Waide, R.B., et al. 1999 The relationship between productivity and species richness Annual Review of Ecological Systematics 30 257 300 Google Scholar Wessels, K.J., Freitag, S., van Jaarsveld, A.S. 1999 The use of land facets as biodiversity surrogates during reserve selection at a local scale Biological Conservation 89 21 38 Google Scholar Williams, P.H. 1998 Key sites for conservation: area-selection methods for biodiversity Mace, G.M. Balmford, A. Ginsberg, J.R. eds. Conservation in a Changing World Vol. 1 Cambridge University Press CambridgeUK 211 249 Google Scholar Williams, P.H., Araujo, M.B. 2000 Using probability of persistence to identify important areas for biodiversity conservation Proceedings of the Royal Society London B 267 1959 1966 Google Scholar Wilson, E.O. 1992The Diversity of Life Belknap CambridgeMassachusetts Google Scholar Woinarski, J.C.Z., Price, O., Faith, D.P. 1996 Application of a taxon priority system for conservation planning by selecting areas which are most distinct from environments already reserved Biological Conservation 76 147 159 Google Scholar Woodward, F.I., Lomas, M.R., Lee, S.E. 2001 Predicting the future production and distribution of global terrestrial vegetation Roy, J. Saugier, B. Mooney, H. eds. Terrestrial Global Productivity Academic Press London 519 539 Google Scholar