The planning of representative systems of nature conservation reserves can be based on a wide variety of criteria. The ready availability of data on the physical attributes of the environment, and the patchiness of biological data, have made reservation planning based on environmental classifications an attractive option for decision makers. We developed an environmental classification based on ecologically relevant variables and used it to plan a forest reserve system for Tasmania. We then used biological distributional data and the same targets and procedures to choose a forest reserve system. The analyses based on the environmental classification selected the same areas as equivalent analyses based on biological distributional data to a greater degree than could be expected by chance. Many rare species and communities missed selection by environmental classificatory units (environmental domains), however, and the proportions of ranges of selected taxa varied widely. Conversely, environmental domains were missed by a reservation strategy based only on biological data. These domains might reflect some gaps in the biological data. A reservation planning approach based on both biological data and domains may produce better results than either used in isolation.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1994
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