How Spatial Information Contributes to the Conservation and Management of Biodiversity
Samuel A Cushman, Falk Huettmann
Reliable ecological information is a necessary component of sustainable management practices (Walters 1986). Land managers need to understand the spatial distribution and population status of species and habitats in regional landscapes. The Millennium Assessment, a global assessment of human well-being, identified biodiversity as a crucial ecosystem service that increases the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to environmental change and maintain productivity (http://www.millenniumassessment. org/en/index.aspx). Biodiversity is widely defined as the variety of compositional, structural, and functional biological components available across multiple scales including landscapes, ecosystems, species, and genetics (Noss 2001). As biodiversity occurs at a multitude of scales, species conservation and sustainable management requires that planning also occur at these scales. Planning for biodiversity conservation is critical because regional landscapes are increasingly compromised by global anthropogenic influences (Vitousek et al. 1997). More than 75% of habitable, ice-free land is already altered by human residence and land-use (Ellis and Ramankutty 2008; Usher et al. 2005; Vitousek et al. 1997).