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Maximizing regional biodiversity requires a mosaic of protection levels


Loiseau, N and Thuiller, W and Stuart-Smith, RD and Devictor, V and Edgar, GJ and Velez, L and Cinner, JE and Graham, NAJ and Renaud, J and Hoey, AS and Manel, S and Mouillot, D, Maximizing regional biodiversity requires a mosaic of protection levels, PLoS Biology, 19, (5) Article e3001195. ISSN 1544-9173 (2021) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 Loiseau et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3001195


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Reef Life Survey, citizen science, MPAs, reef fish
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)
UTAS Author:Edgar, GJ (Professor Graham Edgar)
ID Code:145247
Year Published:2021
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT190100599)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-07-13
Last Modified:2021-11-22
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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