Incorporating threat in hotspots and coldspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services

Abstract

Spatial prioritization could help target conservation actions directed to maintain both biodiversity and ecosystem services. We delineate hotspots and coldspots of two biodiversity conservation features and five regulating and cultural services by incorporating an indicator of ‘threat’, i.e. timber harvest profitability for forest areas in Telemark (Norway). We found hotspots, where high values of biodiversity, ecosystem services and threat coincide, ranging from 0.1 to 7.1% of the area, depending on varying threshold levels. Targeting of these areas for conservation follows reactive conservation approaches. In coldspots, high biodiversity and ecosystem service values coincide with low levels of threat, and cover 0.1–3.4% of the forest area. These areas might serve proactive conservation approaches at lower opportunity cost (foregone timber harvest profits). We conclude that a combination of indicators of biodiversity, ecosystem services and potential threat is an appropriate approach for spatial prioritization of proactive and reactive conservation strategies.

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Acknowledgements

We thank three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on an earlier version of the paper. We thank Stefan Blumentrath for providing the data on timber harvest profitability. GMR received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No. 244065 (POLICYMIX Project (http://policymix.nina.no)).

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Correspondence to Matthias Schröter.

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Schröter, M., Kraemer, R., Ceauşu, S. et al. Incorporating threat in hotspots and coldspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ambio 46, 756–768 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-017-0922-x

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Keywords

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Carbon storage
  • Conservation management
  • Existence value
  • Recreation
  • Spatial priority setting