Mapping more of terrestrial biodiversity for global conservation assessment

TitleMapping more of terrestrial biodiversity for global conservation assessment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Ferrier S, Powell GVN, Richardson KS, Manion G, Overton JM, Allnutt TF, Cameron SE, Mantle K, Burgess ND, Faith DP, Lamoreux JF, Kier G, Hijmans RJ, Funk VA, Cassis GA, F
Type of Articlearticle
Year of Publication2004

Global conservation assessments require information on the distribution of biodiversity across the planet. Yet this information is often mapped at a very coarse spatial resolution relative to the scale of most land-use and management decisions. Furthermore, such mapping tends to focus selectively on better-known elements of biodiversity (e.g., vertebrates). We introduce a new approach to describing and mapping the global distribution of terrestrial biodiversity that may help to alleviate these problems. This approach focuses on estimating spatial pattern in emergent properties of biodiversity (richness and compositional turnover) rather than distributions of individual species, making it well suited to lesscr-known, yet highly diverse, biological groups. We have developed a global biodiversity model linking these properties to mapped ecoregions and fine-scale environmental surfaces. The model is being calibrated progressively using extensive biological data sets for a wide variety of taxa. We also describe an analytical approach to applying our model in global conservation assessments, illustrated with a preliminary analysis of the representativeness of the world's protected-area system. Our approach is intended to complement, not compete with, assessments based on individual species of particular conservation concern.

Journal DateDEC
Citation KeyFerrier2004