Conservation of coral reef biodiversity: a comparison of reserve selection procedures for corals and fishes

Beger, Maria, Jones, Geoffrey P., and Munday, Philip L. (2003) Conservation of coral reef biodiversity: a comparison of reserve selection procedures for corals and fishes. Biological Conservation, 111 (1). pp. 53-62.

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A range of different biodiversity-based selection methods for nature reserves has been tested for terrestrial environments, including those based on diversity hotspots, endemicity hotspots and complementarity. In this study, we investigate the utility of these approaches for a coral reef embayment. We compare coral and fish species richness in a random accumulation of reserve sites with (a) hotspots analysis, (b) stratified selection of hotspots, and (c) complementarity. Cumulative species-site curves indicated that complementarity maximized the rate of accumulation of species of both corals and fishes in reserves, while the hotspot approach performed moderately well. An equivalent number of reserve sites supported a greater proportion of the coral biodiversity when compared to fishes, reflecting the broader distribution of corals. Our results indicate that when choosing an indicator group as a proxy for representing overall diversity in a reserve network, the group with the greatest heterogeneity will provide the best results. Our findings also show that although a modest number of protected sites (20%) will incorporate much of the local diversity (>75%), species-specific approaches must be incorporated to target rare species.

Item ID: 6014
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: biodiversity; complementarity; coral reef conservation; marine protected areas; reserve selection
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2010 06:04
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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