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Assessing the conservation value of waterbodies: the example of the Loire floodplain (France)

Laffaille, Pascal and Chantepie, Stéphane and Lasne, Emilien Assessing the conservation value of waterbodies: the example of the Loire floodplain (France). (2011) Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 20 (n° 11). pp. 2427-2444. ISSN 0960-3115

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-011-9994-2

Abstract

In recent decades, two of the main management tools used to stem biodiversity erosion have been biodiversity monitoring and the conservation of natural areas. However, socio-economic pressure means that it is not usually possible to preserve the entire landscape, and so the rational prioritisation of sites has become a crucial issue. In this context, and because floodplains are one of the most threatened ecosystems, we propose a statistical strategy for evaluating conservation value, and used it to prioritise 46 waterbodies in the Loire floodplain (France). We began by determining a synthetic conservation index of fish communities (Q) for each waterbody. This synthetic index includes a conservation status index, an origin index, a rarity index and a richness index. We divided the waterbodies into 6 clusters with distinct structures of the basic indices. One of these clusters, with high Q median value, indicated that 4 waterbodies are important for fish biodiversity conservation. Conversely, two clusters with low Q median values included 11 waterbodies where restoration is called for. The results picked out high connectivity levels and low abundance of aquatic vegetation as the two main environmental characteristics of waterbodies with high conservation value. In addition, assessing the biodiversity and conservation value of territories using our multi-index approach plus an a posteriori hierarchical classification methodology reveals two major interests: (i) a possible geographical extension and (ii) a multi-taxa adaptation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Springer editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.springer.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Biodiversity and Conservation website : http://www.springerlink.com/content/u26m6jj784um5lt7/
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
Other partners > Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III - UPS
Other partners > Université de Rennes 1 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Statistics:download
Deposited By: Pascal LAFFAILLE

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