Conservation planning for connectivity across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms

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Beger, Maria, Grantham, Hedley S, Pressey, Robert L, Wilson, Kerrie A, Peterson, Eric L, Dorfman, Daniel, Mumby, Peter J, Lourival, Reinaldo, Brumbaugh, Daniel R and Possingham, Hugh P (2010) Conservation planning for connectivity across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms. Biological Conservation, 143 (3). pp. 565-575. ISSN 0006-3207


Conservation plans are usually developed for regions that encompass only one environmental realm (terrestrial, freshwater or marine) because of logistical, institutional and political constraints. This is inadequate because these realms often interact through processes that form, utilize and maintain interfaces or connections, which are essential for the persistence of some species and ecosystem functions. We present a conceptual framework for systematic conservation prioritization that explicitly accounts for the connectivity between the terrestrial, marine, and freshwater realms. We propose a classification of this connectivity that encompasses: (1) narrow interfaces, such as riparian strips; (2) broad interfaces, such as estuaries; (3) constrained connections, such as corridors of native vegetation used by amphibians to move between natal ponds and adult habitat; and (4) diffuse connections, such as the movements of animals between breeding and feeding habitats. We use this taxonomy of inter-realm connectivity to describe existing and new spatial conservation prioritization techniques that aim to promote the persistence of processes that operate between realms.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.11.006
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0501 Ecological Applications
Historical > FOR Classification > 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Keywords ResPubID18622, systematic conservation planning, realm connectivity, environmental realms, integrated conservation, conservation decision-support systems
Citations in Scopus 212 - View on Scopus
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