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Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal fishes: A comparison of hotspot, biogeographical and complementarity approaches

Fox, N.J. and Beckley, L.E. (2005) Priority areas for conservation of Western Australian coastal fishes: A comparison of hotspot, biogeographical and complementarity approaches. Biological Conservation, 125 (4). pp. 399-410.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.02.006
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Abstract

Western Australia has an extensive coastline ranging from the tropical north to the temperate south, with a high diversity of neritic marine fishes. Distribution data of 1855 neritic fish species were used to compare a range of methods for identifying priority areas for their conservation. Species richness and endemism richness hotspots, biogeographic zoning and complementarity analysis were tested for their efficiency at representing the total suite of species. The hotspot approaches demonstrated low efficiency, as the sections of coastline selected were grouped together in isolated geographic locations and relatively few of the total suite of neritic fish species were represented. Biogeographic zoning divided the coast of Western Australia into six regions, and as such, priority areas were selected around the entire coastline, which resulted in fairly high levels of efficiency. However, the complementarity analysis proved to be the most efficient method, as >95% of all neritic fish species could be represented in six, appropriately located, 100 km long sections of coastline. Complementarity analysis indicated a total of 26 priority areas for neritic fish conservation, which were spread around the entire coast of Western Australia. However, as current marine conservation measures in Western Australia are focused on the west and northwest coasts, this study highlighted the need for marine conservation efforts to be extended to cover the north and south coasts.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Elsevier BV
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/7430
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