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Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

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dc.contributor.author Ricketts, Taylor en_US
dc.contributor.author Imhoff, Marc en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-31T14:49:46Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-31T14:49:46Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-04-06 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2009-04-06 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10535/2410
dc.description.abstract "Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species) with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four 'priority sets' of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number) where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so) as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions." en_US
dc.subject biodiversity en_US
dc.subject urban commons en_US
dc.subject agriculture en_US
dc.subject conservation en_US
dc.title Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.coverage.region North America en_US
dc.coverage.country United States en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.subject.sector Agriculture en_US
dc.subject.sector Urban Commons en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Ecology and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 8 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 2 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth December en_US


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