A spatial analysis of multiple indices with implications for conservation management.
KARISH, K.S.*, T.C.EDWARDS, JR., J.DENORMANDIE and M.R.STEVENSON
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5210 USA 1
The choice of areas to select for conservation is difficult for managers. Specific habitats and species of concern, depth of information, private sector and agency goals, and discordant biolgical theories all affect the decision-making process. One of the most complicated objectives is how to identify the important elements of a functioning system, or provide the greatest degree of protection, for the least amount of land, money, or conflict. This poster describes the use of spatial data in biological land evaluation modeling for the Mojave Desert ecoregion of southern California. We employed GIS data in the form of wildlife habitat relationship (WHR) models from the California Department of Fish and Game, which were further refined with relevant ecological information. We calculated richness, endemism, diversity, similarity, and rarity indices for almost 300 species predicted to occur in the Mojave Desert ecoregion to determine desirable locations for reserve sites. We compared how well species were captured in reserve designs created from the input of each index, independently and in combination, into the same site selection process. The results indicate that the choice of measurement of biodiversity has a large impact on the site selection process. This comparison also revealed the problem of using only one index. Each index misses an element of species conservation that another may capture. A consideration of more than one index in the site selection process is the most effective means of capturing the greatest compliment of species.
Keywords: biodiversity, modeling, reserve selection
This abstract is being presented at: 3:30 PM in session: