Resilience scores quantify a combination of landscape diversity and local connectedness. These measures represent the number of microclimates available to species and the current state of the landscape. This builds on research from Anderson and Ferree (2010), who showed geophysical diversity and elevation range were associated with biodiversity in the Eastern United States. Resilience emphasizes diverse landscapes where species are likely to be able to move and adjust to changing conditions.
Resilient biodiversity hotspots were quantified using The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Southeastern Terrestrial Resilience dataset
(Anderson and Prince 2014). Terrestrial resilience was derived as a normalized combination of two datasets: Local Connectedness and Landscape Diversity. These two datasets were standardized by ecoregion and geophysical setting, so rankings were relative across similar ecosystems.
Indicators used in Blueprint 2.0 were initially computed, or in the case of existing data, were resampled to 1 ha spatial resolution using the nearest neighbor method. For computational reasons, we then used the Spatial Analyst aggregate function to rescale the resolution to 200 m. The aggregate function avoided loss of detail by taking the maximum value of each cell in the conversion (e.g., species presence).
Landscape diversity ranked sites using the variety of landforms, elevation range, and wetland density (for very flat areas). Local connectedness measured natural land cover types within a 3 km radius of each cell. To target specific areas for conservation, we converted the original continuous data layer into a 0/1 classification where 1s were targeted for conservation). We used the cut-off point of +1 standard deviation, as TNC classifies these as "above average." We also used the coastal zone data layer provided by TNC to remove areas in the 0-3 ft elevation zone not well captured by this dataset. Indicator values were assigned as follows:
0 = Not a climate-resilient biodiversity hotspot
1 = Climate-resilient biodiversity hotspot
Threats to coastal wetlands are not well captured in this dataset; therefore, we removed areas in the 0-3 ft elevation zone.
Defining the Spatial Extent of Ecosystems
Landscape and waterscape indicators were defined as features that applied across all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and no refined extent was needed.
The South Atlantic ecosystem indicators serve as the South Atlantic LCC's metrics of success and drive the identification of priority areas for shared action in the Conservation Blueprint. To learn more about the indicators and how they are being used, please visit the indicator page
. Check out the Blueprint page
for more information on the development of the Blueprint, a living spatial plan to conserve our natural and cultural resources.
Anderson, M.G., A. Barnett, M. Clark, C. Ferree, A. Olivero Sheldon, and J., Prince., 2014. Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation in the Southeast Region. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. 127 pp.
Anderson, M.G., Ferree, C.E., 2010. Conserving the stage: climate change and the geophysical underpinnings of species diversity. PLoS One 5, e11554.