ERP Related Publications Abstracts
monitoring terrestrial biodiversity using geographic information
Frank W. Davis
Location in space
and time are attributes of nearly all biodiversity data. Obvious examples
include species' collection localities, range maps and habitat maps.
Geographic Information Systems for managing and analyzing spatial
data are rapidly becoming an integral tool for scientists, resource
managers and policy makers concerned with biodiversity conservation
and ecosystem management. Database capabilities of GIS have extended
the traditional map to a much more flexible and powerful representation
of spatial information by allowing potentially large amounts of non-graphical
information to be attached to each map unit. Biologists have yet to
fully exploit this aspect of GIS in classification and mapping of
biodiversity patterns. Some advantages of the GIS model over traditional
maps are illustrated with a vegetation mapping project in southern
In recent years GIS has been applied to a wide range of biodiversity
issues, for example, modeling species distributions, Gap Analysis,
population viability analysis, modeling ecosystem disturbance processes,
and projecting the ecological impacts of global climate change.
Specimen data can be of much greater use in conservation planning
when coupled to predictive habitat relationship models and accurate
habitat maps. The use of GIS to assemble multiple lines of evidence
in modeling species' distribution is illustrated for Cnemidophorus
hyperythrus, an endangered lizard of coastal southern California.
Lastly, an example is provided of the application of GIS modeling
of habitat suitability and connectivity to conservation planning
in southern California.