Colors on the Y-axis indicate increasing numbers of dispersal cha

Colors on the Y-axis indicate increasing numbers of dispersal chains or corridors while colors on the X-axis represent increasing numbers of species based on species richness data for the year 2000. Used by permission #Selleckchem Vorinostat randurls[1|1|,|CHEM1|]# from John Wiley and Sons (Williams et al. 2005) The term connectivity has taken on many

meanings in the context of biodiversity conservation. Crooks and Sanjayan (2006) identify two primary components of connectivity: “(1) the structural (or physical) component: the spatial arrangement of different types of habitat or other elements in the landscape, and (2) the functional (or behavioral) component: the behavioral response of individual, species or ecological processes to the physical structure of the landscape.” Connectivity has longitudinal, lateral (e.g., rivers to floodplains), vertical (e.g., recharge of subterranean ground water) and temporal (e.g., changing habitat distributions through time) dimensions. In regional conservation, connectivity has most commonly focused on developing corridors between areas to accommodate animal movement (e.g., Bruinderink et al. 2003; Fuller et al. 2006), and aquatic connectivity for fish migrations (e.g., Schick and Lindley 2007; Khoury et al. 2010). However, connectivity is also critical for the movement of water, sediment and nutrients, especially

in marine and freshwater systems (Abrantes and Sheaves 2010; Beger et al. 2010; Khoury et al. 2010). Temporal connectivity has not received the same attention as spatial connectivity, but is likely critical Resminostat in the creation of climatic refugia, such as during prolonged drought periods (Klein et al. 2009). At regional scales, conservation planners can affect connectivity in four general ways: altering the size, placement and number of conservation areas; changing the shape and orientation of conservation areas; adding specific linkages between conservation areas; and improving management of the intervening land, water and sea matrix. Regional conservation plans can inform each of these decisions. Although improving connectivity is a commonly recommended and widely applicable approach to adaptation (Heller and Zavaleta 2009; Krosby et al. 2010; Beier et al. 2011), implementing it can be difficult. First, we lack a complete understanding of exactly what types and locations of connectivity are needed to enable climate change-induced species movements, and whether they are similar to or different from connectivity needs under current climate conditions (Cross et al. 2012). Second, the optimal connectivity pattern will be different for nearly every species and community. Third, for most species we know very little about their connectivity needs and can answer the “how much is enough” question for only a few species—often large carnivores that are highly mobile and arguably the least challenged by movements needed for climate adaptation.

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