A new paper is out in the current issue of Biological Conservation. In this review, Rafael and collaborators present a framework for formulating and improving conservation objectives addressing ecological connectivity and climate change impacts. The paper is part of Rafael`s PhD which explores approaches that move beyond a primary application of conservation planning by identifying, assessing and implementing important foci related to the persistence of biodiversity.
Magris, R. A., R. L. Pressey, R. Weeks, and N. C. Ban. 2014. Integrating connectivity and climate change into marine conservation planning. Biological Conservation 170:207-221.
For those without access to the paper the pdf print can be provided by emailing Rafael.
ABSTRACT: Most applications of systematic conservation planning have not effectively incorporated biological processes or dynamic threats. We investigated the extent to which connectivity and climate change have been considered in an ecologically meaningful way in marine conservation planning, as an attempt to help formulate conservation objectives for population persistence, over and above representation. Our review of the literature identified 115 marine planning studies that addressed connectivity and 47 that addressed the effects of climate change. Of the statements identified that related to goals and objectives, few were quantitative and justified by ecological evidence for either connectivity (13%) or climate change (8.9%). Most studies addressing connectivity focused on spatial design (e.g. size and spacing) of marine protected areas (MPAs) or clustering of planning units. Climate change recommendations were primarily based on features related to MPA placement (e.g. preferences for areas relatively resilient and resistant to climate change impacts). Quantitative methods to identify spatial or temporal dynamics of features related to connectivity and/or climate change (e.g. functionally well-connected or thermal refugia areas) were rare, and these accounted for the majority of ecologically justified statements. Given these shortcomings in the literature, we outline a framework for setting marine conservation planning objectives that describes six key approaches to more effectively integrate connectivity and climate change into conservation plans, aligning opportunities and minimizing trade-offs between both issues.