Human influence and classical biogeographic predictors of rare species occurrence

Bennett, Joseph R. and Arcese, Peter (2013) Human influence and classical biogeographic predictors of rare species occurrence. Conservation Biology, 27 2: 417-421. doi:10.1111/cobi.12015

Author Bennett, Joseph R.
Arcese, Peter
Title Human influence and classical biogeographic predictors of rare species occurrence
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2013-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12015
Volume 27
Issue 2
Start page 417
End page 421
Total pages 5
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Biogeographic theory predicts that rare species occur more often in larger, less-isolated habitat patches and suggests that patch size and connectivity are positive predictors of patch quality for conservation. However, in areas substantially modified by humans, rare species may be relegated to the most isolated patches. We used data from plant surveys of 81 meadow patches in the Georgia Basin of Canada and the United States to show that presence of threatened and endangered plants was positively predicted for patches that were isolated on small islands surrounded by ocean and for patches that were isolated by surrounding forest. Neither patch size nor connectivity were positive predictors of rare species occurrence. Thus, in our study area, human influence, presumably due to disturbance or introduction of competitive non-native species, appears to have overwhelmed classical predictors of rare species distribution, such that greater patch isolation appeared to favor presence of rare species. We suggest conservation planners consider the potential advantages of protecting geographically isolated patches in human-modified landscapes because such patches may represent the only habitats in which rare species are likely to persist.
Keyword Biogeography
Genetic rescue
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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