Apr 16, 2020

Areas of global importance for terrestrial biodiversity, carbon, and water

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Martin Jung Wieringa,


To meet the ambitious objectives of biodiversity and climate conventions, countries and the international community require clarity on how these objectives can be operationalized spatially, and multiple targets be pursued concurrently. To support governments and political conventions, spatial guidance is needed to identify which areas should be managed for conservation to generate the greatest synergies between biodiversity and nature's contribution to people (NCP). Here we present results from a joint optimization that maximizes improvements in species conservation status, carbon retention and water provisioning and rank terrestrial conservation priorities globally. We found that, selecting the top-ranked 30% (respectively 50%) of areas would conserve 62.4% (86.8%) of the estimated total carbon stock and 67.8% (90.7%) of all clean water provisioning, in addition to improving the conservation status for 69.7% (83.8%) of all species considered. If priority was given to biodiversity only, managing 30% of optimally located land area for conservation may be sufficient to improve the conservation status of 86.3% of plant and vertebrate species on Earth. Our results provide a global baseline on where land could be managed for conserv...Continue Reading

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