NATURE RESERVES: DO THEY CAPTURE THE FULL RANGE OF AMERICA'S BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY?

NATURE RESERVES: DO THEY CAPTURE THE FULL RANGE OF AMERICA'S BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY? Less than 6%% of the coterminous United States is in nature reserves. Assessment of the occurrence of nature reserves across ranges of elevation and soil productivity classes indicates that nature reserves are most frequently found at higher elevations and on less productive soils. The distribution of plants and animals suggests that the greatest number of species is found at lower elevations. A preliminary assessment of the occurrence of mapped land cover types indicates that ∼∼60%% of mapped cover types have <10%% of their area in nature reserves. Land ownership patterns show that areas of lower elevation and more productive soils are most often privately owned and already extensively converted to urban and agricultural uses. Thus any effort to establish a system of nature reserves that captures the full geographical and ecological range of cover types and species must fully engage the private sector. For reprints of this Invited Feature, see footnote 1, p. 945. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecological Applications Ecological Society of America

NATURE RESERVES: DO THEY CAPTURE THE FULL RANGE OF AMERICA'S BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY?

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Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Ecological Issues in Conservation
ISSN
1051-0761
D.O.I.
10.1890/1051-0761%282001%29011%5B0999:NRDTCT%5D2.0.CO%3B2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Less than 6%% of the coterminous United States is in nature reserves. Assessment of the occurrence of nature reserves across ranges of elevation and soil productivity classes indicates that nature reserves are most frequently found at higher elevations and on less productive soils. The distribution of plants and animals suggests that the greatest number of species is found at lower elevations. A preliminary assessment of the occurrence of mapped land cover types indicates that ∼∼60%% of mapped cover types have <10%% of their area in nature reserves. Land ownership patterns show that areas of lower elevation and more productive soils are most often privately owned and already extensively converted to urban and agricultural uses. Thus any effort to establish a system of nature reserves that captures the full geographical and ecological range of cover types and species must fully engage the private sector. For reprints of this Invited Feature, see footnote 1, p. 945.

Journal

Ecological ApplicationsEcological Society of America

Published: Aug 1, 2001

Keywords: biodiversity ; coterminus United States ; elevation ; endangered species ; gap analysis ; land use ; nature reserves ; public lands ; soil productivity

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