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Evaluating geophysical diversity as a surrogate for biodiversity in conservation planning

Miller, Stephanie Nicole (2021) Evaluating geophysical diversity as a surrogate for biodiversity in conservation planning. Doctoral thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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In response to the growing biodiversity crisis, governing agencies are looking to expand protected area coverage. However, it is difficult to decide which sites to protect for biodiversity because biotic information is limited and costly to obtain. Environmental diversity, particularly geophysical diversity, could be a cost-saving and effective alternative for informing site selection. In this project, I explored different variable selections to define an environmental surrogate and compared implementation methods for using the surrogate in site selection. I then evaluated surrogate performance for 42 biological inventory data sets from around the globe. From the method comparison components of this project, I found better performing procedures that I used in the final surrogate tests. Across all tests, the geophysical surrogate performed on average better than random. This project's findings suggest that spatial patterns of geophysical diversity at the landscape scale can help identify high-priority areas for maximizing species representation in conservation planning.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: beta diversity; biodiversity conservation; Conserving Nature's Stage; landscape level planning; Geophysical diversity
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences > School of Forestry
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 19:43
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 19:43
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5799

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