New maps highlight habitat corridors in the tropics

New maps highlight habitat corridors in the tropics

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US: A team of Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) scientists created maps of habitat corridors connecting protected areas in the tropics to incorporate biodiversity co-benefits into climate change mitigation strategies. The findings have been incorporated in an article entitled, ‘Carbon stock corridors to mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity in the tropics’ by Drs. Patrick Jantz, Scott Goetz, and Nadine Laporte.

“Maintaining connectivity of forest ecosystems provides ecological and societal benefits ensuring long-term species survival and providing room for ecosystems to reorganize in response to climate change and protecting ecosystem services that people depend on,” said Dr Jantz. The team used a high-resolution data set of vegetation carbon stock (VCS) to map 16,257 corridors through areas of the highest biomass between 5,600 protected areas in the tropics. The VCS corridor approach informs global frameworks for land management based climate change mitigation by showing which forests contain significant carbon stocks and are important for tropical biodiversity.

“Because it is unlikely all remaining tropical forests can be protected, the corridors defined by this study provide a way to prioritize lands in the context of the multiple benefits of tropical forest conservation,” said Dr Laporte.

Source: WHRC