The Focal‐Species Approach and Landscape Restoration: a Critique

The Focal‐Species Approach and Landscape Restoration: a Critique Abstract: In many parts of the world there is an urgent need for landscape restoration to conserve biodiversity. Landscape restoration is not straightforward, however, because many issues and processes must be understood for effective action to take place. In an attempt to guide restoration efforts for biodiversity conservation, Lambeck (1997, 1999) developed a taxon‐based surrogate scheme called the focal‐species approach. The focal‐species approach involves the identification of a suite of species targeted for the management of threatening processes and vegetation‐restoration efforts. Together, their “requirements for persistence define the attributes that must be present if (the landscape) is to meet the needs of the remaining biota” ( Lambeck 1999). Some of our concerns with the focal‐species approach include the following. First, the underlying theoretical basis of the focal‐species approach is problematic. As part of a taxon‐based surrogate scheme, a suite of focal species is presumed to act collectively as a surrogate for other elements of the biota. But taxon‐based surrogate schemes have had limited success everywhere they have been applied. Second, the focal‐species approach may be unsuitable for practical implementation, primarily because of the lack of data to guide the selection of a set of focal species in the majority of landscapes. We argue that restoration strategies should be based on appropriate theory, realistic assessment of available information, and an achievable outcome for the land managers who own or control the majority of land in the most significantly affected landscapes. Given the potential limitations of the focal‐species approach, a mix of different strategies should be adopted in any given landscape and between different landscapes to spread risk of failure of any one approach. We believe that it is important to raise awareness about the potential limitations of the focal‐species approach and to ensure that land managers do not assume it will inevitably lead to the conservation of all biota in a landscape. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

The Focal‐Species Approach and Landscape Restoration: a Critique

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-focal-species-approach-and-landscape-restoration-a-critique-wG8VEMrDJe
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.00450.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: In many parts of the world there is an urgent need for landscape restoration to conserve biodiversity. Landscape restoration is not straightforward, however, because many issues and processes must be understood for effective action to take place. In an attempt to guide restoration efforts for biodiversity conservation, Lambeck (1997, 1999) developed a taxon‐based surrogate scheme called the focal‐species approach. The focal‐species approach involves the identification of a suite of species targeted for the management of threatening processes and vegetation‐restoration efforts. Together, their “requirements for persistence define the attributes that must be present if (the landscape) is to meet the needs of the remaining biota” ( Lambeck 1999). Some of our concerns with the focal‐species approach include the following. First, the underlying theoretical basis of the focal‐species approach is problematic. As part of a taxon‐based surrogate scheme, a suite of focal species is presumed to act collectively as a surrogate for other elements of the biota. But taxon‐based surrogate schemes have had limited success everywhere they have been applied. Second, the focal‐species approach may be unsuitable for practical implementation, primarily because of the lack of data to guide the selection of a set of focal species in the majority of landscapes. We argue that restoration strategies should be based on appropriate theory, realistic assessment of available information, and an achievable outcome for the land managers who own or control the majority of land in the most significantly affected landscapes. Given the potential limitations of the focal‐species approach, a mix of different strategies should be adopted in any given landscape and between different landscapes to spread risk of failure of any one approach. We believe that it is important to raise awareness about the potential limitations of the focal‐species approach and to ensure that land managers do not assume it will inevitably lead to the conservation of all biota in a landscape.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Apr 1, 2002

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