Effects of errors and gaps in spatial data sets on assessment of conservation progress

Visconti, P., Di Marco, M., Alvarez-Romero, J. G., Januchowski-Hartley, S. R., Pressey, R. L., Weeks, R. and Rondinini, C. (2013) Effects of errors and gaps in spatial data sets on assessment of conservation progress. Conservation Biology, 27 5: 1000-1010. doi:10.1111/cobi.12095

Author Visconti, P.
Di Marco, M.
Alvarez-Romero, J. G.
Januchowski-Hartley, S. R.
Pressey, R. L.
Weeks, R.
Rondinini, C.
Title Effects of errors and gaps in spatial data sets on assessment of conservation progress
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2013-10
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12095
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 27
Issue 5
Start page 1000
End page 1010
Total pages 11
Place of publication Malden, MA, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Data on the location and extent of protected areas, ecosystems, and species' distributions are essential for determining gaps in biodiversity protection and identifying future conservation priorities. However, these data sets always come with errors in the maps and associated metadata. Errors are often overlooked in conservation studies, despite their potential negative effects on the reported extent of protection of species and ecosystems. We used 3 case studies to illustrate the implications of 3 sources of errors in reporting progress toward conservation objectives: protected areas with unknown boundaries that are replaced by buffered centroids, propagation of multiple errors in spatial data, and incomplete protected-area data sets. As of 2010, the frequency of protected areas with unknown boundaries in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) caused the estimated extent of protection of 37.1% of the terrestrial Neotropical mammals to be overestimated by an average 402.8% and of 62.6% of species to be underestimated by an average 10.9%. Estimated level of protection of the world's coral reefs was 25% higher when using recent finer-resolution data on coral reefs as opposed to globally available coarse-resolution data. Accounting for additional data sets not yet incorporated into WDPA contributed up to 6.7% of additional protection to marine ecosystems in the Philippines. We suggest ways for data providers to reduce the errors in spatial and ancillary data and ways for data users to mitigate the effects of these errors on biodiversity assessments.
Keyword Gap analysis
Priority setting
Protected area
Spatial analyses
Spatial error
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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