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Some spatial aspects of biodiversity conservation
Harris, L.D. (1993). Some spatial aspects of biodiversity conservation, in: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. pp. 97-108
In: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) (1993). Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. The Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria. ISBN 0-7718-9355-8. XIII, 392 pp., more

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  • Harris, L.D.

    Biodiversity is more than just variation among living organisms: it must be viewed in a variety of ways and at a variety of scales. We do not see genotypic variation, but rather phenotypic variation, as it has been shaped by ecological processes acting on individuals and populations. The size of an organism, its use of space and its length of life all vary greatly and demand a number of conservation strategies. The largest organisms (e.g., coral reefs, Giant Kelp, Redwoods) are sessile. Movement of communities or populations of such species is apparent only when seen in the context of millennia. Large size, longevity and slow movement are intercorrelated. Four examples illustrate the complexity that surrounds conservation of biological diversity and the importance of considering different levels of ecosystem hierarchy. A conservation strategy for the Monarch Butterfly, which moves great distances at low elevations across many states and through local jurisdictions, is contrasted to the relatively sessile White-footed and Deer mice (Peromyscus). A reserve would protect Deer Mice successfully, but a reserve for the congregation areas of the butterflies would be only one step in maintaining the species. The endangered Manatee's primary source of mortality is collisions with motorboats. Despite reserves, Manatees follow the water courses, so their fate is the responsibility of several states and local authorlties. The Florida Panther is a rare subspecies of Cougar. Most of the remaining individuals are within a single reserve, with high mortality outside it. Inbreeding has led to maladies, and reserves have led to isolation of their populations.

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