Do we protect biological originality in protected areas? A new index and an application to the Bonifacio Strait Natural Reserve

Type Article
Date 2008-06
Language English
Author(s) Mouillot D1, Culioli J2, Pelletier DominiqueORCID3, Tomasini J1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Montpellier 2 CC 093, CNRS, UMR 5119, IFREMER,UM2,ECOLAG, F-34095 Montpellier 5, France.
2 : Off Environm Corse, Reserve Nat Bouches Bonifacio, F-20250 Corte, France.
3 : IFREMER, Lab MAERHA, F-44311 Nantes 03, France.
Source Biological Conservation (0006-3207) (Elsevier), 2008-06 , Vol. 141 , N. 6 , P. 1569-1580
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2008.04.002
WOS© Times Cited 64
Keyword(s) Biological indicator, Indicator species, Fish assemblage, Randomization test, Functional originality, Functional trait, Marine reserve
Abstract Changes in biodiversity may disrupt the ecological functions performed by species assemblages. Hence, we urgently need to examine the implications of biodiversity loss not only in terms of species conservation but also in terms of sustainability of ecosystem services. The ability of protected areas to maintain local species richness has been clearly demonstrated. However, preserving goods and services provided by ecosystems requires not only the conservation of species richness but also the conservation of the most 'original' species, i.e. the ones with the highest average rarity of their attributes which are likely to perform some unique functions in ecosystems. We proposed a new conservation of biological originality (CBO) index as well as associated randomization tests to quantify the ability of piotected areas to maintain viable populations for the most original species. As an application, we used long-term fisheries data collected in the Bonifacio Strait Natural Reserve (BSNR) to determine the species which benefited from the protection reinforcement in 1999. We also estimated a set of 14 ecomorphological functional traits on the 37 fish species caught in the BSNR and we obtained a functional originality value for each species. As a result, we found that functional originality was significantly protected in the fish assemblage of the BSNR: species with the most original functional trait combinations became more abundant after 1999. Our finding suggests that protecting most original species is an insurance against functional diversity erosion in the BSNR. More generally, our new index can be used to test whether protected areas may protect preferentially the most original species and whether restorative management promotes the reestablishment of the most original species with particular habitat requirements. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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