University Of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Shortcuts for Biodiversity Conservation Planning: The Effectiveness of Surrogates

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 21:12 authored by Rodrigues, ASL, Thomas BrooksThomas Brooks
Biodiversity is not completely known anywhere, so conservation planning is always based on surrogates for which data are available and, hence, assumed effective for the conservation of unknown biodiversity. We review the literature on the effectiveness of surrogates for conservation planning based on complementary representation. We apply a standardized approach based on a Species Accumulation Index of surrogate effectiveness to compare results from 575 tests in 27 studies. Overall, we find positive, but relatively weak, surrogacy power. Cross-taxon surrogates are substantially more effective than surrogates based on environmental data. Within cross-taxon tests, surrogacy was higher for tests within the same realm (terrestrial, marine, freshwater). Surrogacy was higher when extrapolated (rather than field) data were used. Our results suggest that practical conservation planning based on data for well-known taxonomic groups can cautiously proceed under the assumption that it captures species in less well-known taxa, at least within the same realm. Copyright © 2007 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Publication title

Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics








School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Annual Reviews

Place of publication

United States of America

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other environmental management not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics