Matching Items (5)

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Predicted rarity-weighted richness, a new tool to prioritize sites for species representation

Description

Lack of biodiversity data is a major impediment to prioritizing sites for species representation. Because comprehensive species data are not available in any planning area, planners often use surrogates (such

Lack of biodiversity data is a major impediment to prioritizing sites for species representation. Because comprehensive species data are not available in any planning area, planners often use surrogates (such as vegetation communities, or mapped occurrences of a well-inventoried taxon) to prioritize sites. We propose and demonstrate the effectiveness of predicted rarity-weighted richness (PRWR) as a surrogate in situations where species inventories may be available for a portion of the planning area. Use of PRWR as a surrogate involves several steps. First, rarity-weighted richness (RWR) is calculated from species inventories for a q% subset of sites. Then random forest models are used to model RWR as a function of freely available environmental variables for that q% subset. This function is then used to calculate PRWR for all sites (including those for which no species inventories are available), and PRWR is used to prioritize all sites. We tested PRWR on plant and bird datasets, using the species accumulation index to measure efficiency of PRWR. Sites with the highest PRWR represented species with median efficiency of 56% (range 32%–77% across six datasets) when q = 20%, and with median efficiency of 39% (range 20%–63%) when q = 10%. An efficiency of 56% means that selecting sites in order of PRWR rank was 56% as effective as having full knowledge of species distributions in PRWR's ability to improve on the number of species represented in the same number of randomly selected sites. Our results suggest that PRWR may be able to help prioritize sites to represent species if a planner has species inventories for 10%–20% of the sites in the planning area.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-27

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Downscaling patterns of complementarity to a finer resolution and its implications for conservation prioritization

Description

Given species inventories of all sites in a planning area, integer programming or heuristic algorithms can prioritize sites in terms of the site's complementary value, that is, the ability of

Given species inventories of all sites in a planning area, integer programming or heuristic algorithms can prioritize sites in terms of the site's complementary value, that is, the ability of the site to complement (add unrepresented species to) other sites prioritized for conservation. The utility of these procedures is limited because distributions of species are typically available only as coarse atlases or range maps, whereas conservation planners need to prioritize relatively small sites. If such coarse-resolution information can be used to identify small sites that efficiently represent species (i.e., downscaled), then such data can be useful for conservation planning. We develop and test a new type of surrogate for biodiversity, which we call downscaled complementarity. In this approach, complementarity values from large cells are downscaled to small cells, using statistical methods or simple map overlays. We illustrate our approach for birds in Spain by building models at coarse scale (50 × 50 km atlas of European birds, and global range maps of birds interpreted at the same 50 × 50 km grid size), using this model to predict complementary value for 10 × 10 km cells in Spain, and testing how well-prioritized cells represented bird distributions in an independent bird atlas of those 10 × 10 km cells. Downscaled complementarity was about 63–77% as effective as having full knowledge of the 10-km atlas data in its ability to improve on random selection of sites. Downscaled complementarity has relatively low data acquisition cost and meets representation goals well compared with other surrogates currently in use. Our study justifies additional tests to determine whether downscaled complementarity is an effective surrogate for other regions and taxa, and at spatial resolution finer than 10 × 10 km cells. Until such tests have been completed, we caution against assuming that any surrogate can reliably prioritize sites for species representation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05-18

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The geography of hotspots of rarity-weighted richness of birds and their coverage by Natura 2000

Description

A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented

A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented by conservation actions such as protected areas (PAs). We aimed to identify high-priority areas for conservation, expressed as hotpots of rarity-weighted richness (HRR)–sites that efficiently represent species–for birds across EU countries, and to explore whether HRR are well represented by the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 is an evolving network of PAs that seeks to conserve biodiversity through the persistence of the most patrimonial species and habitats across Europe. This network includes Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), where the latter regulated the designation of Special Protected Areas (SPA). Distribution maps for 416 bird species and complementarity-based approaches were used to map geographical patterns of rarity-weighted richness (RWR) and HRR for birds. We used species accumulation index to evaluate whether RWR was efficient surrogates to identify HRRs for birds. The results of our analysis support the proposition that prioritizing sites in order of RWR is a reliable way to identify sites that efficiently represent birds. HRRs were concentrated in the Mediterranean Basin and alpine and boreal biogeographical regions of northern Europe. The cells with high RWR values did not correspond to cells where Natura 2000 was present. We suggest that patterns of RWR could become a focus for conservation biogeography. Our analysis demonstrates that identifying HRR is a robust approach for prioritizing management actions, and reveals the need for more conservation actions, especially on HRR.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-05

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Analysis of COVID-19 Incident Rate Throughout the U.S. Southwest With Respect to Stay-At-Home Orders

Description

Analyzing Incident Rates of COVID-19 Before and After Stay-At-Home Orders Throughout the Southwestern U.S. with Respect to Limited Mobility Models

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Evaluating β Diversity as a Surrogate for Species Representation at Fine Scale

Description

Species turnover or β diversity is a conceptually attractive surrogate for conservation planning. However, there has been only 1 attempt to determine how well sites selected to maximize β diversity

Species turnover or β diversity is a conceptually attractive surrogate for conservation planning. However, there has been only 1 attempt to determine how well sites selected to maximize β diversity represent species, and that test was done at a scale too coarse (2,500 km[superscript 2] sites) to inform most conservation decisions. We used 8 plant datasets, 3 bird datasets, and 1 mammal dataset to evaluate whether sites selected to span β diversity will efficiently represent species at finer scale (sites sizes < 1 ha to 625 km[superscript 2]). We used ordinations to characterize dissimilarity in species assemblages (β diversity) among plots (inventory data) or among grid cells (atlas data). We then selected sites to maximize β diversity and used the Species Accumulation Index, SAI, to evaluate how efficiently the surrogate (selecting sites for maximum β diversity) represented species in the same taxon. Across all 12 datasets, sites selected for maximum β diversity represented species with a median efficiency of 24% (i.e., the surrogate was 24% more effective than random selection of sites), and an interquartile range of 4% to 41% efficiency. β diversity was a better surrogate for bird datasets than for plant datasets, and for atlas datasets with 10-km to 14-km grid cells than for atlas datasets with 25-km grid cells. We conclude that β diversity is more than a mere descriptor of how species are distributed on the landscape; in particular β diversity might be useful to maximize the complementarity of a set of sites. Because we tested only within-taxon surrogacy, our results do not prove that β diversity is useful for conservation planning. But our results do justify further investigation to identify the circumstances in which β diversity performs well, and to evaluate it as a cross-taxon surrogate.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-03-04