Representative conservation area-networks are needed to ensure persistence of species diversity within regions. Frequently, however, there are neither resources nor time to carry out detailed inventories before areas are selected. Consequently, areas may be chosen using information other than species. One promising approach is to represent as much environmental variation as possible (environmental diversity, ED) as a surrogate for species diversity (e.g. Anon. 1974, DeVellice et al. 1988, Belbin 1993, Faith and Walker 1996a). This would achieve great economies in all sectors, if true. To our knowledge no formal empirical tests have been made to assess the performance of environmental diversity as a surrogate for species diversity. Indeed, a positive relationship between these two measures has often been assumed rather than estimated. For example Pressey et al. (1996) and Woinarski et al. (1996) asked whether reserve networks sampled representative portions of environmental variation, but did not question whether this would represent biodiversity at a rate higher than expected by chance. We test this idea using species and environmental data for Europe. The p-median location-allocation model was applied to select representative portions of environmental-space (Faith and Walker 1996a, b). The consequences of this selection are compared to those of
Ecography – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2001
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