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J Biosci. 2002 Jul;27(4 Suppl 2):361-84.

Persistence and vulnerability: retaining biodiversity in the landscape and in protected areas.

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Biodiversity and Macroecology Group, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


An objective of biodiversity conservation activities is to minimize the exposure of biodiversity features to threatening processes and to ensure, as far as possible, that biodiversity persists in the landscape. We discuss how issues of vulnerability and persistence can and should be addressed at all stages of the conservation planning and implementation process. Procedures for estimating the likelihood of persistence and for measuring degrees of vulnerability at different spatial and temporal scales using subjective assessments, rules of thumb and analytical and simulation models are reviewed. The application of information on vulnerability and persistence to conservation planning and management is discussed under the headings of natural dynamics, replication of protection, levels of representation, source and sink population structures, refuges and critical resources, reserve design, habitat fragmentation and levels of management.

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