Trade-offs in carbon storage and biodiversity conservation under climate change reveal risk to endemic species

Reside, April Elizabeth, VanDerWal, Jeremy, and Moran, Catherine (2017) Trade-offs in carbon storage and biodiversity conservation under climate change reveal risk to endemic species. Biological Conservation, 207. pp. 9-16.

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Carbon offset funds provide substantial opportunities for protection and restoration of native ecosystems, with corresponding gains for biodiversity and reductions in atmospheric carbon. However, biodiversity could be disadvantaged if not properly accounted for, particularly under climate change, where high carbon gains do not coincide spatially with biodiversity priorities. While globally there is congruence for species richness and carbon stocks, adequate conservation needs to incorporate more refined measures of biodiversity – and consideration of the impact of future climate change. We investigated the spatial trade-off for carbon and biodiversity priorities in north-eastern Australia based on current and projected climate, using the Zonation prioritisation software. By iteratively weighting carbon against biodiversity we found that prioritising land based on biodiversity value (for 697 vertebrates) included priority areas for potential carbon sequestration (Maximum Potential Biomass). However, if prioritisation was based on carbon sequestration potential alone, substantial areas important for biodiversity would be lost. Policy frameworks need to be strengthened to remove barriers from landholder participation in carbon storage projects that have biodiversity benefits, and to require that both carbon and biodiversity gains are additional. Properly accounting for biodiversity in land-based carbon sequestration and storage prioritisation in this region is likely to generate substantial benefits for both biodiversity and carbon.

Item ID: 48362
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: systematic conservation planning; biodiversity prioritisation; cobenefits; zonation; carbon; trade-offs
Funders: Australian Government (AG)
Projects and Grants: AG Regional NRM planning for climate change program
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2018 05:04
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960303 Climate Change Models @ 100%
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