Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Objectives We compared focal species and naturalness- based corridor networks to ask whether they identify similar areas, whether a naturalness-based approach is in fact more analytically efficient, and whether agreement between the two approaches varies with focal species vagility.
Methods We compared focal-species and naturalness- based connectivity models at two nested spatial extents: greater Washington State, USA, and, within it, the Columbia Plateau ecoregion. We assessed complementarity between the two approaches by examining the spatial overlap of predicted corridors, and regressing organism traits against the amount of modeled corridor overlap.
Results A single naturalness-based corridor network represented connectivity for a large (>10) number of focal species as effectively as a group of between 3 and 4 randomly selected focal species. The naturalnessbased approach showed only moderate spatial agreement with composite corridor networks for large numbers of focal species, and better agreed with corridor networks of large-bodied, far-dispersing species in the larger scale analysis.
Conclusions Naturalness-based corridor models may offer an efficient proxy for focal species models, but a multi-focal species approach may better represent the movement needs of diverse taxa. Consideration of trade-offs between the two approaches may enhance the effectiveness of their application to connectivity conservation planning.