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The Value of Biodiversity in Reserve Selection: Representation, Species Weighting, and Benefit Functions

The Value of Biodiversity in Reserve Selection: Representation, Species Weighting, and Benefit... Abstract: The limited availability of resources for conservation has led to the development of many quantitative methods for selecting reserves that aim to maximize the biodiversity value of reserve networks. In published analyses, species are often considered equal, although some are in much greater need of protection than others. Furthermore, representation is usually treated as a threshold: a species is either represented or not, but varying levels of representation over or under a given target level are not valued differently. We propose that a higher representation level should also have higher value. We introduce a framework for reserve selection that includes species weights and benefit functions for under‐ and overrepresentation (number of locations for each species). We applied the method to conservation planning for herb‐rich forests in southern Finland. Our use of benefit functions and weighting changed the identity of about 50% of the selected sites at different funding levels and improved the representation of rare and threatened species. We also identified a small area of additional land that would substantially enhance the existing reserve network. We suggest that benefit functions and species weighting should be considered as standard options in reserve‐selection applications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

The Value of Biodiversity in Reserve Selection: Representation, Species Weighting, and Benefit Functions

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00218.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: The limited availability of resources for conservation has led to the development of many quantitative methods for selecting reserves that aim to maximize the biodiversity value of reserve networks. In published analyses, species are often considered equal, although some are in much greater need of protection than others. Furthermore, representation is usually treated as a threshold: a species is either represented or not, but varying levels of representation over or under a given target level are not valued differently. We propose that a higher representation level should also have higher value. We introduce a framework for reserve selection that includes species weights and benefit functions for under‐ and overrepresentation (number of locations for each species). We applied the method to conservation planning for herb‐rich forests in southern Finland. Our use of benefit functions and weighting changed the identity of about 50% of the selected sites at different funding levels and improved the representation of rare and threatened species. We also identified a small area of additional land that would substantially enhance the existing reserve network. We suggest that benefit functions and species weighting should be considered as standard options in reserve‐selection applications.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2005

References