Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 14, pp 3363–3383

Designing criteria suites to identify discrete and networked sites of high value across manifestations of biodiversity

  • Eric Gilman
  • Daniel Dunn
  • Andrew Read
  • K. David Hyrenbach
  • Robin Warner
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-011-0116-y

Cite this article as:
Gilman, E., Dunn, D., Read, A. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2011) 20: 3363. doi:10.1007/s10531-011-0116-y


Suites of criteria specifying ecological, biological, social, economic, and governance properties enable the systematic identification of sites and networks of high biodiversity value, and can support balancing ecological and socioeconomic objectives of biodiversity conservation in terrestrial and marine spatial planning. We describe designs of suites of ecological, governance and socioeconomic criteria to comprehensively cover manifestations of biodiversity, from genotypes to biomes; compensate for taxonomic and spatial gaps in available datasets; balance biases resulting from conventionally-employed narrow criteria suites focusing on rare, endemic and threatened species; plan for climate change effects on biodiversity; and optimize the ecological and administrative networking of sites. Representativeness, replication, ecological connectivity, size, and refugia are identified as minimum ecological properties of site networks. Through inclusion of a criterion for phylogenetic distinctiveness, criteria suites identify sites important for maintaining evolutionary processes. Criteria for focal species are needed to overcome data gaps and address limitations in knowledge of factors responsible for maintaining ecosystem integrity.


Biodiversity Criteria Data quality Protected area Reserve Site network Spatial planning Systematic conservation planning 

Supplementary material

10531_2011_116_MOESM1_ESM.doc (234 kb)
(DOC 245 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Gilman
    • 1
  • Daniel Dunn
    • 2
  • Andrew Read
    • 3
  • K. David Hyrenbach
    • 4
  • Robin Warner
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Natural and Computational SciencesHawaii Pacific UniversityHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Marine Geospatial Ecology LabDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Duke Center for Marine ConservationDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Marine Science ProgramHawaii Pacific UniversityHonoluluUSA
  5. 5.Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and SecurityUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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