White, Denis, E.M. Preston, K.E. Freemark, and A.R. Kiester. 1999. A hierarchical framework for conserving biodiversity. In: J.M. Klopatek and R.H. Gardner, editors, Landscape Ecological Analysis: Issues and Applications. pp. 127- 153. Springer-Verlag, New York.
We propose to analyze biodiversity for conservation purposes as a two stage problem. The first stage is finding those places over a region of study that have the greatest combined biodiversity, and the second stage is studying those important places to see what effects changes in landuse caused by human activities might have on biodiversity. In these studies biodiversity was defined as species richness and habitat abundance of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, as well as for the total of these four taxonomic groups. At the regional scale, a regular geometric grid was used as an accounting device to find those few grid cells having the greatest numbers of species when their species lists were combined. At the landscape scale, one or more of the few special grid cells were chosen to target either a political unit such as a county, or a natural unit such as a watershed. In the county or watershed, collaborating planners created maps of alternative future patterns of land use depending on different assumptions about trends in human activities. The alternative maps were converted into habitat abundances for the vertebrate species and the abundances were compared across each alternative to assess how species might respond.