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Reconciling Biodiversity Indicators to Guide Understanding and Action

Hill, SLL; Harfoot, M; Purvis, A; Purves, DW; Collen, B; Newbold, T; Burgess, ND; (2016) Reconciling Biodiversity Indicators to Guide Understanding and Action. Conservation Letters , 9 (6) pp. 405-412. 10.1111/conl.12291. Green open access

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Abstract

Many metrics can be used to capture trends in biodiversity and, in turn, these metrics inform biodiversity indicators. Sampling biases, genuine differences between metrics, or both, can often cause indicators to appear to be in conflict. This lack of congruence confuses policy makers and the general public, hindering effective responses to the biodiversity crisis. We show how different and seemingly inconsistent metrics of biodiversity can, in fact, emerge from the same scenario of biodiversity change. We develop a simple, evidence-based narrative of biodiversity change and implement it in a simulation model. The model demonstrates how, for example, species richness can remain stable in a given landscape, whereas other measures (e.g. compositional similarity) can be in sharp decline. We suggest that linking biodiversity metrics in a simple model will support more robust indicator development, enable stronger predictions of biodiversity change, and provide policy-relevant advice at a range of scales.

Type: Article
Title: Reconciling Biodiversity Indicators to Guide Understanding and Action
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/conl.12291
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12291
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright and Photocopying: © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Global biodiversity indicators; biodiversity metrics; biodiversity trends; Madingley model; PREDICTS model; Aichi targets
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1513502
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