Research press release



Conservation: A little bit more land could do a lot for biodiversity


生物多様性は、特定の地域内に存在する生物種の数(種数)によって測定するのが一般的だが、この他にも生物多様性の側面として同じように重要なものがある。今回、Laura Pollockたちの研究グループは、種数だけでなく、系統的多様性(進化的関係の指標)と機能的多様性(栄養相互作用と資源獲得と関連した形質の指標)にも研究対象を広げた。今回の研究では、鳥類と哺乳類に対象が絞られているが、世界中の保護区の面積をわずか5%広げるだけで保護される生物種の範囲、系統的多様性または機能的多様性が3倍以上に増大することが明らかになった。


A small increase in the size of the world’s protected areas could have a large, positive influence on global biodiversity, a Nature paper reveals. The study, which focuses on less commonly studied metrics of biodiversity, will be of use to those involved in conservation planning and policy.

Biodiversity is commonly measured by counting the number of species present in a particular area, but other facets of biodiversity are equally important. Laura Pollock and colleagues broadened the focus by evaluating phylogenetic diversity (a measure of evolutionary relatedness) and functional diversity (a measure of traits that are linked to trophic interactions and resource acquisition) as well as number of species. Concentrating on birds and mammals, they find that if the world’s protected areas were expanded by just 5% it could more than triple the protected range of species, phylogenetic diversity or functional diversity.

Protected areas safeguard the world’s biodiversity. There is now widespread evidence that a globally coordinated increase in protected areas is necessary to achieve biodiversity targets, and policies are in place to achieve this goal. When determining which areas to expand, however, it is important to consider the specific conservation objective. The authors point out that although many priority regions are well-known biodiversity hot spots, such as eastern Madagascar and southeast Asia, using diversity hot spots to assign conservation priorities vastly under-represents what could be achieved with conservation planning. For example, over 1,500 more bird species or 8,236 million years more evolutionary diversity could be represented in protection if a 5% protected area expansion is done with optimized spatial conservation algorithms rather than simply prioritizing the most diverse areas.

doi: 10.1038/nature22368

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