The cost-effectiveness of biodiversity surveys in tropical forests.

Gardner, Toby A. and Barlow, Jos and Araujo, Ivanei S. and Ávila-Pires, Teresa Cristina and Bonaldo, Alexandre B. and Costa, Joana E. and Esposito, Maria Cristina and Ferreira, Leandro V. and Hawes, Joseph and Hernandez, Malva I. M. and Hoogmoed, Marinus S. and Leite, Rafael N. and Lo-Man-Hung, Nancy F. and Malcolm, Jay R. and Martins, Marlucia B. and Mestre, Luiz A. M. and Miranda-Santos, Ronildon and Overal, William L. and Parry, Luke and Peters, Sandra L. and Ribeiro-Junior, Marco Antônio and da Silva, Maria N. F. and da Silva Motta, Catarina and Peres, Carlos A. (2008) The cost-effectiveness of biodiversity surveys in tropical forests. Ecology Letters, 11 (2). pp. 139-150. ISSN 1461-023X

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The identification of high-performance indicator taxa that combine practical feasibility and ecological value requires an understanding of the costs and benefits of surveying different taxa. We present a generic and novel framework for identifying such taxa, and illustrate our approach using a large-scale assessment of 14 different higher taxa across three forest types in the Brazilian Amazon, estimating both the standardized survey cost and the ecological and biodiversity indicator value for each taxon. Survey costs varied by three orders of magnitude, and dung beetles and birds were identified as especially suitable for evaluating and monitoring the ecological consequences of habitat change in our study region. However, an exclusive focus on such taxa occurs at the expense of understanding patterns of diversity in other groups. To improve the cost-effectiveness of biodiversity research we encourage a combination of clearer research goals and the use of an objective evidence-based approach to selecting study taxa.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Ecology Letters
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Deposited On:
14 Jul 2008 07:52
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 17:56