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Priorities for conservation investment at a global scale that are based on a single taxon have been criticized because geographic richness patterns vary taxonomically. However, these concerns focused only on biodiversity patterns and did not consider the importance of socioeconomic factors, which must also be included if conservation funding is to be allocated efficiently. In this article, we create efficient global funding schedules that use information about conservation costs, predicted habitat loss rates, and the endemicity of seven different taxonomic groups. We discover that these funding allocation schedules are less sensitive to variation in taxon assessed than to variation in cost and threat. Two-thirds...
Conservationists have proposed methods for adapting to climate change that assume species distributions are primarily explained by climate variables. The key idea is to use the understanding of species-climate relationships to map corridors and to identify regions of faunal stability or high species turnover. An alternative approach is to adopt an evolutionary timescale and ask ultimately what factors control total diversity, so that over the long run the major drivers of total species richness can be protected. Within a single climatic region, the temperate area encompassing all of the Northeastern U.S. and Maritime Canada, we hypothesized that geologic factors may take precedence over climate in explaining diversity...
Conservation planning is the process of locating, configuring, implementing and maintaining areas that are managed to promote the persistence of biodiversity and other natural values. Conservation planning is inherently spatial. The science behind it has solved important spatial problems and increasingly influenced practice. To be effective, however, conservation planning must deal better with two types of change. First, biodiversity is not static in time or space but generated and maintained by natural processes. Second, humans are altering the planet in diverse ways at ever faster rates.
The importance of global and regional coordination in conservation is growing, although currently, the majority of conservation programs are applied at national and subnational scales. Nevertheless, multinational programs incur transaction costs and resources beyond what is required in national programs. Given the need to maximize returns on investment within limited conservation budgets, it is crucial to quantify how much more biodiversity can be protected by coordinating multinational conservation efforts when resources are fungible. Previous studies that compared different scales of conservation decision-making mostly ignored spatial variability in biodiversity threats and the cost of actions. Here, we developed...
Fossil records are replete with examples of long-term biotic responses to past climate change. One particularly useful set of records are those preserved in lake and marine sediments, recording both climate changes and corresponding biotic responses. Recently there has been increasing focus on the need for conservation of ecological and evolutionary processes in the face of climate change. We review key areas where palaeoecological archives contribute to this conservation goal, namely: (i) determination of rates and nature of biodiversity response to climate change; (ii) climate processes responsible for ecological thresholds; (iii) identification of ecological resilience to climate change; and (iv) management of...
We identified 100 scientific questions that, if answered, would have the greatest impact on conservation practice and policy. Representatives from 21 international organizations, regional sections and working groups of the Society for Conservation Biology, and 12 academics, from all continents except Antarctica, compiled 2291 questions of relevance to conservation of biological diversity worldwide. The questions were gathered from 761 individuals through workshops, email requests, and discussions. Voting by email to short-list questions, followed by a 2-day workshop, was used to derive the final list of 100 questions. Most of the final questions were derived through a process of modification and combination as the...