Reserve selection in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa: coping with high compositional turnover

Reserve selection in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa: coping with high compositional turnover The Succulent Karoo biome is home to the world's richest succulent flora. It has approximately 1954 endemic plant species, and is the only semi-arid region to qualify as a hotspot of global significance. Despite its importance, only 2% of the biome is currently protected. Based on its flora, the biome can be divided into 12 bioregions, reflecting its high compositional turnover in relation to environmental and geographical gradients. Only three of these bioregions (the Gariep Centre, the Namaqualand Rocky Hills and the Tanqua Karoo) contain National Parks, and three contain large (over 10 000 ha) provincial reserves (the Gariep Centre, the Namaqualand Rocky Hills and the Little Karoo). The current reserve system does little to conserve biodiversity, with only one reserve significantly conserving Red Data Book (RDB) plant diversity. Using a RDB plant species database of 3874 records at a quarter degree scale (QDS = 15′×15′), we used hotspot analyses and iterative reserve selection algorithms to identify possible locations for future reserves. The hotspot analysis and iterative analyses yielded similar results for the top 11 QDS, mainly due to very high local endemism. Also because of the local endemism and the high species turnover within the biome, the real-world iterative algorithm (starting with the seven already reserved QDS) selected a very large total number of QDS (59% of the total in the biome) to conserve all RDB species. As a possible alternative to conservation planning based on QDS, we also assessed priorities at the scale of bioregions, but showed that representation at this geographic level misses important areas defined at a finer scale. We suggest that if the objective is to maximise the retention of RDB species in the landscape (to pre-empt extinction by scheduling the allocation of limited conservation resources), at least the top 5% of QDS (n=11) selected by the iterative procedure, and identified as the core conservation sequence by analysis of endemicity and threat, should be given priority for reservation. Less extensive and, in some cases, less formal conservation action can be applied to QDS later in the sequence, based on species-specific monitoring and action plans. Of the 11 core areas, four fall in a node centred on the Vanrhynsdorp Centre, two fall in a node centred on the Kamiesberg, and the remaining five are isolated. With existing reserves, the core areas capture 50% of the RDB flora in 8% of the biome. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Plant Ecology Springer Journals

Reserve selection in the Succulent Karoo, South Africa: coping with high compositional turnover

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/reserve-selection-in-the-succulent-karoo-south-africa-coping-with-high-PFM7y28KAe
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Life Sciences; Plant Sciences
ISSN
1385-0237
eISSN
1573-5052
DOI
10.1023/A:1009866126729
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Succulent Karoo biome is home to the world's richest succulent flora. It has approximately 1954 endemic plant species, and is the only semi-arid region to qualify as a hotspot of global significance. Despite its importance, only 2% of the biome is currently protected. Based on its flora, the biome can be divided into 12 bioregions, reflecting its high compositional turnover in relation to environmental and geographical gradients. Only three of these bioregions (the Gariep Centre, the Namaqualand Rocky Hills and the Tanqua Karoo) contain National Parks, and three contain large (over 10 000 ha) provincial reserves (the Gariep Centre, the Namaqualand Rocky Hills and the Little Karoo). The current reserve system does little to conserve biodiversity, with only one reserve significantly conserving Red Data Book (RDB) plant diversity. Using a RDB plant species database of 3874 records at a quarter degree scale (QDS = 15′×15′), we used hotspot analyses and iterative reserve selection algorithms to identify possible locations for future reserves. The hotspot analysis and iterative analyses yielded similar results for the top 11 QDS, mainly due to very high local endemism. Also because of the local endemism and the high species turnover within the biome, the real-world iterative algorithm (starting with the seven already reserved QDS) selected a very large total number of QDS (59% of the total in the biome) to conserve all RDB species. As a possible alternative to conservation planning based on QDS, we also assessed priorities at the scale of bioregions, but showed that representation at this geographic level misses important areas defined at a finer scale. We suggest that if the objective is to maximise the retention of RDB species in the landscape (to pre-empt extinction by scheduling the allocation of limited conservation resources), at least the top 5% of QDS (n=11) selected by the iterative procedure, and identified as the core conservation sequence by analysis of endemicity and threat, should be given priority for reservation. Less extensive and, in some cases, less formal conservation action can be applied to QDS later in the sequence, based on species-specific monitoring and action plans. Of the 11 core areas, four fall in a node centred on the Vanrhynsdorp Centre, two fall in a node centred on the Kamiesberg, and the remaining five are isolated. With existing reserves, the core areas capture 50% of the RDB flora in 8% of the biome.

Journal

Plant EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 15, 2004

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off