Efficient expansion of global protected areas requires simultaneous planning for species and ecosystems

Polak, Tal, Watson, James E. M., Fuller, Richard A., Joseph, Liana, Martin, Tara G., Possingham, Hugh P., Venter, Oscar and Carwardine, Josie (2015) Efficient expansion of global protected areas requires simultaneous planning for species and ecosystems. Royal Society Open Science, 2 4: 150107.1-150107.11. doi:10.1098/rsos.150107

Author Polak, Tal
Watson, James E. M.
Fuller, Richard A.
Joseph, Liana
Martin, Tara G.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Venter, Oscar
Carwardine, Josie
Title Efficient expansion of global protected areas requires simultaneous planning for species and ecosystems
Journal name Royal Society Open Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2054-5703
Publication date 2015-04-29
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsos.150107
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 2
Issue 4
Start page 150107.1
End page 150107.11
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Subject 1000 General
Abstract The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)'s strategic plan advocates the use of environmental surrogates, such as ecosystems, as a basis for planning where new protected areas should be placed. However, the efficiency and effectiveness of this ecosystem-based planning approach to adequately capture threatened species in protected area networks is unknown. We tested the application of this approach in Australia according to the nation's CBD-inspired goals for expansion of the national protected area system. We set targets for ecosystems (10% of the extent of each ecosystem) and threatened species (variable extents based on persistence requirements for each species) and then measured the total land area required and opportunity cost of meeting those targets independently, sequentially and simultaneously. We discover that an ecosystem-based approach will not ensure the adequate representation of threatened species in protected areas. Planning simultaneously for species and ecosystem targets delivered the most efficient outcomes for both sets of targets, while planning first for ecosystems and then filling the gaps to meet species targets was the most inefficient conservation strategy. Our analysis highlights the pitfalls of pursuing goals for species and ecosystems non-cooperatively and has significant implications for nations aiming to meet their CBD mandated protected area obligations.
Keyword Ecosystem-based targets
Spatial prioritization
Geographical range size
CBD Aichi targets
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID TP701709
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sun, 17 May 2015, 07:05:55 EST by Dr Richard Fuller on behalf of School of Biological Sciences