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Lecture 13

FOR201H1 Lecture 13: Lecture 13 - Applyingdiversity theory Protected Area Networks

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University of Toronto St. George
Sean Thomas

Lecture 10: Applying Diversity Theory: Protected Area Networks In-situ vs ex-situ conservation - Zoos, gardens, seed banks that are engaged in ex-situ conservation - Maintaining captive/cultivated/stored organisms - In-situ conservation - Trying to protect/restore areas of natural habitat that keep species “doing their thing” Arguments for importance of in-situ conservation - Scope for protection via ex-situ methods is limited - Sometimes no choice (i.e. no natural populations) - If conservation is ex-situ, you’ve removed interactions and ecosystem process - Often disrupts genetic diversity as well - Can conserve species, but can’t conserve broader diversity - Zoos tend to have problems with genetic problems because of inbreeding - Zoos also focus on big mammals - Plants and invertebrates are ignored - Zoos make a lot of money from rare organisms - Can foster trade and capture of endangered organisms Criteria for selecting forest reserve areas - In-situ conservation based on reserve areas - Limit or prohibit human presence or activities - If doing that kind of thing need to think about what forest areas to be protected - How big and where reserves should be - If have areas with high known or predicted diversity of species where we know geographic distributions well (birds, mammals, higher plants) then can prioritize those areas - Can also prioritize areas of unique habitat types - In general want large habitats - Enhance connectivity - Take into account proximity of reserve to sources of threats - Common to have reserve areas away from population centers - Many forest areas that have been initially set aside as watershed protection areas - If have areas that serve multiple purposes = more viable in long term - May select areas because they have ecotourism/non-ecological services in long term Spatial analysis of diversity - Hypothetical: - Organisms that overlap - To capture all 3 of them, make reserve where they all are - For some organisms there is a lot of data on this - EX: Map of amphibian diversity in SA - Parts of Amazon don’t have high amphibian diversity - Parts of Amazon that have really high amphibian diversity - Looking at tree diversity - Shows strong similarities - So would have high priority areas just because of distributions of different organisms - Often maps are generated - Technical aspects Statistical modeling of biogeographic distributions - Observations where people have seen different frog species then get statistical model Gap analysis - Once we have distributions of organisms, next step is usually to have gap analysis - Have maps of vegetation types - Maps of distributions of those organisms - Overlay those - Then look for gaps in protected areas network Other selection criteria: - Maybe unusual habitat types that you missed - EX: 40-50 m tall limestone pinnacles in Mulu National park in Sarawak, Malaysia - Wouldn’t show up in gap analysis but need to protect it Forest productivity and conservation priority - Huge differences in forest productivity between heath forest and wet tropical forest - Might not be that many species in heath forest - Lower in diversity - But many of those are unique - If disrupt the system, not likely to come back - Time to recovery through succession tends to be strongly related to on-site productivity - Wet forest might recover faster - Beyond some kind of threshold, should never cut down heath forest Presence of species of special conservation importance - Importance of endemic species - Rare and endemic species usually show patchy distributions - Usually not well correlated to habitat features - Might be a habitat that would be perfectly find for them but they’re just not there - Can be really important for conservation planning to actually know where blue- wing pittas are Flagship and umbrella species - Typically have 4-500 species and couple 100 mammal species - Then many plants and insects - Some important concepts - Have to simplify problem - One way to simplify is to look for umbrella species - Typically wide-ranging - Depends on habitat that supports other species - If protect that species, then will protect a lot of other species - EX: Protecting tigers = also protecting other organisms - Tigers might not be best example though - They’re actually quite versatile - They’re more like a flagship species - Used for advertising and symbolic purposes - Keystone species - Species where they’re directly providing resources for other species - Figs for example are keystone species - Provide fruit for frugivores when nothing else in fruit - Keystone predators that eat more common things - Keep populations of common species down - Helpful if keystone is also umbrella species What makes a good “umbrella” species - Large home-range - Shared resource with a lot of other species - Special resource requirements that are rare but also shared with other species - Sensitive to humans or other important disturbance - Not uncommon to choose umbrella species that are also flagship - Ex: Parrots - Large-bodied parrots that are obligate cavity-nesters Reserve selection: “Geometric” criteria - General ideas: - Larger areas is better - Patch shape that minimizes edge - Isolation effects - Enhance connectivity - SLOSS tradeoffs - Single-large vs several small trade off - Connectivity
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