Abstract: It has been suggested that using complementarity to identify networks of important areas for conserving biodiversity may preferentially select areas within the margins of species ranges. We tested this idea by examining the location of complementarity hotspots in relation to two measures of range core‐periphery. The first measures patterns of aggregation among records within each species' range to identify areas within the core (i.e., areas with aggregated distributions) and periphery (i.e., areas with scattered distributions) of the range. The second measures spatial turnover among species to identify areas with a high density of range edges. For three selected groups of terrestrial vertebrates in Europe—mammals, birds, and herptiles—areas chosen based on complementarity were located within the margins of species' ranges more often than expected by chance. This pattern was consistent for the two measures of core‐periphery we used. The bias of complementarity hotspots toward marginal populations is especially important for species with restricted range sizes. If extinctions are determined mainly by demographic factors, then selecting areas at the peripheries of species' ranges might be a poor option. But if extinctions are determined mainly by extrinsic factors, then peripheral populations might be important to ensure the long‐term persistence of species.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 14, 2001
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