Journal article

Global synthesis of conservation studies reveals the importance of small habitat patches for biodiversity

Brendan A Wintle, Heini Kujala, Amy Whitehead, Alison Cameron, Sam Veloz, Aija Kukkala, Atte Moilanen, Ascelin Gordon, Pia E Lentini, Natasha CR Cadenhead, Sarah A Bekessy

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2019

Abstract

Island biogeography theory posits that species richness increases with island size and decreases with isolation. This logic underpins much conservation policy and regulation, with preference given to conserving large, highly connected areas, and relative ambivalence shown toward protecting small, isolated habitat patches. We undertook a global synthesis of the relationship between the conservation value of habitat patches and their size and isolation, based on 31 systematic conservation planning studies across four continents. We found that small, isolated patches are inordinately important for biodiversity conservation. Our results provide a powerful argument for redressing the neglect of s..

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Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships


Awarded by ARC Discovery Project


Funding Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Remi from Puerto Escondido for providing ideas and support and to Michael Scroggie, who wrote the patch delineation R code. H.K. and A.W. were supported by the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Threatened Species Recovery Hub. B.A.W. and S.A.B. were supported by Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowships FT100100889 and FT130101225, respectively. S.A.B. was supported by the Australian Government's NESP Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub. A.M. received support from the Finnish Ministry of Environment. A.G. was supported by ARC Discovery Project DP150102472.