raptr: representative and adequate prioritization toolkit in R

Hanson, Jeffrey O., Rhodes, Jonathan R., Possingham, Hugh P. and Fuller, Richard A. (2018) raptr: representative and adequate prioritization toolkit in R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9 2: 320-330. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12862

Author Hanson, Jeffrey O.
Rhodes, Jonathan R.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Fuller, Richard A.
Title raptr: representative and adequate prioritization toolkit in R
Journal name Methods in Ecology and Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2041-210X
Publication date 2018-02-01
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.12862
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 320
End page 330
Total pages 11
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract 1. An underlying aim in conservation planning is to maximize the long-term persistence of biodiversity. To fulfil this aim, the ecological and evolutionary processes that sustain biodiversity must be preserved. One way to conserve such processes at the feature level (e.g. species, ecosystem) is to preserve a sample of the feature (e.g. individuals, areas) that is representative of the intrinsic or extrinsic physical attributes that underpin the process of interest. For example, by conserving a sample of populations with local adaptations—physical attributes associated with adaptation—that is representative of the range of adaptations found in the species, protected areas can maintain adaptive processes by ensuring these adaptations are not lost. Despite this, current reserve selection methods overwhelmingly focus on securing an adequate amount of area or habitat for each feature. Little attention has been directed towards capturing a representative sample of the variation within each feature. 2. To address this issue, we developed the raptr R package to help guide reserve selection. Users set “amount targets”—similar to conventional methods—to ensure that solutions secure a sufficient proportion of area or habitat for each feature. Additionally, users set “space targets” to secure a representative sample of variation in ecologically or evolutionarily relevant attributes (e.g. environmental or genetic variation). We demonstrate the functionality of this package, using simulations and two case studies. In these studies, we generated solutions using amount targets—similar to conventional methods—and compared them with solutions generated using amount and space targets. 3. Our results demonstrate that markedly different solutions emerge when targeting a representative sample of each feature. We show that using these targets is important for features that have multimodal distributions in the process-related attributes (e.g. species with multimodal niches). We also found that solutions could conserve a far more representative sample with only a slight increase in reserve system size. 4. The raptr R package provides a toolkit for making prioritizations that secure an adequate and representative sample of variation within each feature. By using solutions that secure a representative sample of each feature, prioritizations may have a greater chance of achieving long-term biodiversity persistence.
Keyword Species distribution data
Environmental diversity
Conservation prioritization
Protected areas
Evolutionary processes
Facility location
Alpine plants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
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Created: Sat, 24 Feb 2018, 20:05:32 EST