Incorporating dynamic distributions into spatial prioritization

Runge, Claire A., Tulloch, Ayesha I. T., Possingham, Hugh P., Tulloch, Vivitskaia J. D. and Fuller, Richard A. (2016) Incorporating dynamic distributions into spatial prioritization. Diversity And Distributions, 22 3: 332-343. doi:10.1111/ddi.12395


Author Runge, Claire A.
Tulloch, Ayesha I. T.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Tulloch, Vivitskaia J. D.
Fuller, Richard A.
Title Incorporating dynamic distributions into spatial prioritization
Journal name Diversity And Distributions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1366-9516
1472-4642
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12395
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 3
Start page 332
End page 343
Total pages 12
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim
Species' distributions are generally treated as static for the purposes of prioritization, but many species such as migrants and nomads have distributions that shift over time. Decisions about priority actions for such species must account for this temporal variation, making planning for their conservation a complex problem. Here, we explore how dynamic distributions can be incorporated into a spatial prioritization, and suggest approaches for prioritizing conservation action when knowledge of species' movements is uncertain.

Location
Australian rangelands, including the arid and semi-arid zones of central Australia and adjoining monsoonal tropics, although methods are applicable for any dynamic biodiversity feature.

Methods
We used the decision-support software marxan to explore the impact of temporal dynamics on spatial conservation planning for a suite of 42 highly mobile birds across the study region. We explored scenarios comparing a static representation of species' distributions with four methods of integrating temporal dynamics: (1) accounting for temporal variability in distribution across months and years, (2) considering only monthly variability in distribution, (3) considering only annual variability in distribution and (4) considering only minimal distributions during spatial bottlenecks, ignoring distributions at other times.

Results
Incorporating the temporal dynamics of species into spatial prioritization substantially changes the spatial pattern of conservation investment, increasing the overall area needed to be placed under conservation measures to achieve a specific target level of species protection. Targeting bottlenecks, locations critical to each species when its distribution is at a minimum, prioritizes a very different suite of sites to those chosen using the traditional approach of static distribution maps based on occurrences pooled across time.

Main conclusions
Our results highlight the need to consider dynamic movements in the conservation planning process to ensure that mobile species are adequately protected. A static approach to conservation planning may misdirect resources and lead to inadequate conservation for mobile species.
Keyword Arid zones
Dynamic distributions
Migratory birds
Nomadism
Protected areas
Spatial prioritization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 19:29:26 EST by Dr Richard Fuller on behalf of School of Biological Sciences