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Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus).

Ureña-Aranda CA, Rojas-Soto O, Martínez-Meyer E, Yáñez-Arenas C, Landgrave Ramírez R, Espinosa de los Monteros A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction.Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise.We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: División de Posgrado, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México; Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México.

ABSTRACT
A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relationship between the observed abundance (burrows/Km2) of Gopherus flavomarginatus and the distance to the species´ ecological niche centroid.
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pone.0131452.g003: Relationship between the observed abundance (burrows/Km2) of Gopherus flavomarginatus and the distance to the species´ ecological niche centroid.

Mentions: All the regression functions that we explored found a significant relationship between the observed abundance and the distance to the ecological niche centroid (Table 2). The best-fit model, nonetheless, was the Inverse Regression explaining more of the variation in the relationship between the Mahalanobis distance to the centroid and the abundance (adjusted R2 = 0.681, P < 0.001). As expected, the observed abundance drops drastically when the environmental conditions depart from those found nearby the ecological niche centroid. Our field data showed that the abundance value drops nearly two thirds once the Mahalanobis distance to the niche centroid increase beyond 20 units (Fig 3).


Using Range-Wide Abundance Modeling to Identify Key Conservation Areas for the Micro-Endemic Bolson Tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus).

Ureña-Aranda CA, Rojas-Soto O, Martínez-Meyer E, Yáñez-Arenas C, Landgrave Ramírez R, Espinosa de los Monteros A - PLoS ONE (2015)

Relationship between the observed abundance (burrows/Km2) of Gopherus flavomarginatus and the distance to the species´ ecological niche centroid.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482574&req=5

pone.0131452.g003: Relationship between the observed abundance (burrows/Km2) of Gopherus flavomarginatus and the distance to the species´ ecological niche centroid.
Mentions: All the regression functions that we explored found a significant relationship between the observed abundance and the distance to the ecological niche centroid (Table 2). The best-fit model, nonetheless, was the Inverse Regression explaining more of the variation in the relationship between the Mahalanobis distance to the centroid and the abundance (adjusted R2 = 0.681, P < 0.001). As expected, the observed abundance drops drastically when the environmental conditions depart from those found nearby the ecological niche centroid. Our field data showed that the abundance value drops nearly two thirds once the Mahalanobis distance to the niche centroid increase beyond 20 units (Fig 3).

Bottom Line: The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction.Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise.We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: División de Posgrado, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México; Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, México.

ABSTRACT
A widespread biogeographic pattern in nature is that population abundance is not uniform across the geographic range of species: most occurrence sites have relatively low numbers, whereas a few places contain orders of magnitude more individuals. The Bolson tortoise Gopherus flavomarginatus is endemic to a small region of the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, where habitat deterioration threatens this species with extinction. In this study we combined field burrows counts and the approach for modeling species abundance based on calculating the distance to the niche centroid to obtain range-wide abundance estimates. For the Bolson tortoise, we found a robust, negative relationship between observed burrows abundance and distance to the niche centroid, with a predictive capacity of 71%. Based on these results we identified four priority areas for the conservation of this microendemic and threatened tortoise. We conclude that this approach may be a useful approximation for identifying key areas for sampling and conservation efforts in elusive and rare species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus