Optimal management of a multispecies shorebird flyway under sea-level rise

Iwamura, Takuya, Fuller, Richard A. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2014) Optimal management of a multispecies shorebird flyway under sea-level rise. Conservation Biology, 28 6: 1710-1720. doi:10.1111/cobi.12319

Author Iwamura, Takuya
Fuller, Richard A.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Optimal management of a multispecies shorebird flyway under sea-level rise
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0888-8892
Publication date 2014-06-27
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12319
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 28
Issue 6
Start page 1710
End page 1720
Total pages 11
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Every year, millions of migratory shorebirds fly through the East Asian-Australasian Flyway between their arctic breeding grounds and Australasia. This flyway includes numerous coastal wetlands in Asia and the Pacific that are used as stopover sites where birds rest and feed. Loss of a few important stopover sites through sea-level rise (SLR) could cause sudden population declines. We formulated and solved mathematically the problem of how to identify the most important stopover sites to minimize losses of bird populations across flyways by conserving land that facilitates upshore shifts of tidal flats in response to SLR. To guide conservation investment that minimizes losses of migratory bird populations during migration, we developed a spatially explicit flyway model coupled with a maximum flow algorithm. Migratory routes of 10 shorebird taxa were modeled in a graph theoretic framework by representing clusters of important wetlands as nodes and the number of birds flying between 2 nodes as edges. We also evaluated several resource allocation algorithms that required only partial information on flyway connectivity (node strategy, based on the impacts of SLR at nodes; habitat strategy, based on habitat change at sites; population strategy, based on population change at sites; and random investment). The resource allocation algorithms based on flyway information performed on average 15% better than simpler allocations based on patterns of habitat loss or local bird counts. The Yellow Sea region stood out as the most important priority for effective conservation of migratory shorebirds, but investment in this area alone will not ensure the persistence of species across the flyway. The spatial distribution of conservation investments differed enormously according to the severity of SLR and whether information about flyway connectivity was used to guide the prioritizations. With the rapid ongoing loss of coastal wetlands globally, our method provides insight into efficient conservation planning for migratory species.
Keyword Coastal wetlands
Conservation prioritization
East Asian-Australasian Flyway
Ecological networks
Global migrants
Graph theory
Maximum flow algorithm
Migratory shorebirds
Algoritmo de flujo máximo
Aves costeras migratorias
Humedales costeros
Migrantes globales
Priorización de la conservación
Redes ecológicas
Ruta migratoria Asia-Australasia de Oriente
Teoría de gráficos
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID LP100200418
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 27 June 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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