1 Tahrcountry Musings: Landscape level conservation - Need for multispecies framework

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Landscape level conservation - Need for multispecies framework

A Multispecies Framework for Landscape Conservation Planning
Conservation Biology  Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 1010–1021

 Landscapes across the world are changing rapidly. This emphasizes the need for quantitative methods for conservation assessment and planning.

Here the researchers devised and tested a multi-species framework for conservation planning to complement single-species assessments and ecosystem-level approaches.

Their framework consisted of 4 elements
1) Sampling to effectively estimate population parameters.
2) Measuring how human activity affects landscapes at multiple scales
3) Analyzing the relation between landscape characteristics.
4) Individual species occurrences, and evaluating and comparing the responses of multiple species to landscape modification.

The researchers applied the approach to a community of terrestrial birds across 25,000 km2 with a range of intensities of human development. The researchers say human modification of land cover, road density, and other elements of the landscape, measured at multiple spatial extents, had large effects on occupancy of the 67 species studied.

Forest composition within 1 km of points had a strong effect on occupancy of many species and a range of negative, intermediate, and positive associations. Road density within 1 km of points, percent evergreen forest within 300 m, and distance from patch edge were also strongly associated with occupancy for many species.

The researchers used the occupancy results to group species into 11 guilds that shared patterns of association with landscape characteristics. They say their multi-species approach to conservation planning allowed them to quantify the trade-offs of different scenarios of land-cover change in terms of species occupancy.

No comments: