Incorporating connectivity into conservation planning for optimal representation of multiple species and ecosystem services
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Current conservation planning tends to focus on protecting species ranges or landscape connectivity but seldom both – particularly in the case of diverse taxonomic assemblages and multiple planning goals. Therefore we lack information on potential tradeoffs between maintaining landscape connectivity and achieving other conservation objectives. Here we develop a prioritization approach to protect species ranges, different ecosystem types, and forest carbon stocks, while also incorporating dispersal corridors to link existing protected areas and habitat connectivity for protection of range‐shifting species. We apply our framework to Sabah, Malaysia, where the State Government has mandated an increase in protected area coverage of ∼305,000 ha but without having specified where the new protected areas will be. Compared to conservation planning that does not explicitly account for connectivity, our approach increased the protection of dispersal corridors and elevational connectivity by 13% and 21%, respectively, while decreasing the coverage of other conservation features by 0% (vertebrate and plant species ranges; forest types), 2% (forest carbon), and 3% (butterfly species ranges). Hence, large increases in the protection of landscape connectivity can be achieved with minimal loss of representation of other conservation targets.
Williams , S H , Scriven , S A , Burslem , D F R P , Hill , J K , Reynolds , G , Agama , A L , Kugan , F , Maycock , C R , Khoo , E , Hastie , A Y L , Sugau , J B , Nilus , R , Pereira , J T , Tsen , S L T , Lee , L Y , Juiling , S , Hodgson , J A , Cole , L E S , Asner , G P , Evans , L J & Brodie , J F 2020 , ' Incorporating connectivity into conservation planning for optimal representation of multiple species and ecosystem services ' , Conservation Biology , vol. 34 , no. 4 , pp. 934-942 . https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13450
Copyright © 2019 Society for Conservation Biology. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13450
DescriptionFunding was provided by the Rainforest Trust foundation. Support was also provided by the Sabah Forest Department, Forest Research Centre, the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership, the U.N. Development Programme, the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (FRGS0414- STWN-1/2015), PACOS Trust, BC Initiative, the Natural Environment Research Council UK (grant NE/R009597/1), and the Universities of Aberdeen, Montana, and York.
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