Maximizing regional biodiversity requires a mosaic of protection levels

Loiseau, Nicolas, Thuiller, Wilfried, Stuart-smith, Rick D., Devictor, Vincent, Edgar, Graham J., Velez, Laure, Cinner, Joshua E., Graham, Nicholas A.J., Renaud, Julien, Hoey, Andrew S., Manel, Stephanie, and Mouillot, David (2021) Maximizing regional biodiversity requires a mosaic of protection levels. PLoS Biology, 19 (5). e3001195.

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Abstract

Protected areas are the flagship management tools to secure biodiversity from anthropogenic impacts. However, the extent to which adjacent areas with distinct protection levels host different species numbers and compositions remains uncertain. Here, using reef fishes, European alpine plants, and North American birds, we show that the composition of species in adjacent Strictly Protected, Restricted, and Non-Protected areas is highly dissimilar, whereas the number of species is similar, after controlling for environmental conditions, sample size, and rarity. We find that between 12% and 15% of species are only recorded in Non-Protected areas, suggesting that a non-negligible part of regional biodiversity occurs where human activities are less regulated. For imperiled species, the proportion only recorded in Strictly Protected areas reaches 58% for fishes, 11% for birds, and 7% for plants, highlighting the fundamental and unique role of protected areas and their environmental conditions in biodiversity conservation.

Item ID: 70413
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1545-7885
Copyright Information: © 2021 Loiseau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE140100020, ARC FT160100047, ARC LP150100761
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2022 01:45
Downloads: Total: 142
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