A review of selection-based tests of abiotic surrogates for species representation

Beier, Paul, Sutcliffe, Patricia, Hjort, Jan, Faith, Daniel P., Pressey, Robert L. and Albuquerque, Fabio (2015) A review of selection-based tests of abiotic surrogates for species representation. Conservation Biology, 29 3: 668-679. doi:10.1111/cobi.12509

Author Beier, Paul
Sutcliffe, Patricia
Hjort, Jan
Faith, Daniel P.
Pressey, Robert L.
Albuquerque, Fabio
Title A review of selection-based tests of abiotic surrogates for species representation
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12509
Open Access Status
Volume 29
Issue 3
Start page 668
End page 679
Total pages 12
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ United States
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Because conservation planners typically lack data on where species occur, environmental surrogates—including geophysical settings and climate types—have been used to prioritize sites within a planning area. We reviewed 622 evaluations of the effectiveness of abiotic surrogates in representing species in 19 study areas. Sites selected using abiotic surrogates represented more species than an equal number of randomly selected sites in 43% of tests (55% for plants) and on average improved on random selection of sites by about 8% (21% for plants). Environmental diversity (ED) (42% median improvement on random selection) and biotically informed clusters showed promising results and merit additional testing. We suggest 4 ways to improve performance of abiotic surrogates. First, analysts should consider a broad spectrum of candidate variables to define surrogates, including rarely used variables related to geographic separation, distance from coast, hydrology, and within-site abiotic diversity. Second, abiotic surrogates should be defined at fine thematic resolution. Third, sites (the landscape units prioritized within a planning area) should be small enough to ensure that surrogates reflect species’ environments and to produce prioritizations that match the spatial resolution of conservation decisions. Fourth, if species inventories are available for some planning units, planners should define surrogates based on the abiotic variables that most influence species turnover in the planning area. Although species inventories increase the cost of using abiotic surrogates, a modest number of inventories could provide the data needed to select variables and evaluate surrogates. Additional tests of nonclimate abiotic surrogates are needed to evaluate the utility of conserving nature's stage as a strategy for conservation planning in the face of climate change.
Keyword Conservation planning
Conserving nature's stage
Incidental representation
Surrogacy tests
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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