Micro-hotspot determination and buffer zone value for Odonata in a globally significant biosphere reserve

Grant P.B.C. ; Samways M.J. (2011)


Reserves are frequently constrained in design and size by various financial, social or political factors. Maintenance of existing reserves must therefore rely on strategic management practices, and prioritization of conservation activities within them. Identification of global and regional hotspots have been effective for prioritizing conservation activities. Yet, identification of micro-hotspots, or overlapping areas of endemic and rare species that are under threat at the landscape scale, have largely been ignored. From a reserve management point of view, knowledge of critical micro-hotspots within a reserve, are focal points for directing cost effective, conservation initiatives, especially removal of invasive alien plants which are a major threat to biodiversity.Using diversity patterns of dragonfly assemblages, many endemic and threatened, within a biosphere reserve located in the core of a global biodiversity hotspot, we investigated the concept of micro-hotspots. As biosphere reserves contain zones with varying degrees of anthropogenic impact, we also investigated the value of buffer and transition zones for complementing the dragonfly fauna of the reserve core. We found a distinct micro-hotspot within the protected core zone which shows concordance for both endemism and species richness. We conclude that focused conservation actions to remove invasive alien plants within this micro-hotspot would help insure its continued integrity. Furthermore, while there is greater habitat degradation within the buffer and transition zones, they support many additional species, but not those necessarily endemic or threatened. The complementary value of buffer and transition zones therefore lies in increasing habitat heterogeneity and species richness of the whole reserve. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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