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Conserving Ecosystem Diversity in the Tropical Andes
Remote Sensing

Documenting temporal trends in the extent of ecosystems is essential to monitoring their status but combining this information with the degree of protection helps us assess the effectiveness of societal actions for conserving ecosystem diversity and related ecosystem services. We demonstrated indicators in the Tropical Andes using both potential (pre-industrial) and recent (~2010) distribution maps of terrestrial ecosystem types. We measured long-term ecosystem loss, representation of ecosystem types within the current protected areas, quantifying the additional representation offered by protecting Key Biodiversity Areas. Six (4.8%) ecosystem types (i.e., measured as 126 distinct vegetation macrogroups) have lost >50% in extent across four Andean countries since pre-industrial times. For ecosystem type representation within protected areas, regarding the pre-industrial extent of each type, a total of 32 types (25%) had higher representation (>30%) than the post-2020 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) draft target in existing protected areas. Just 5 of 95 types (5.2%) within the montane Tropical Andes hotspot are currently represented with >30% within the protected areas. Thirty-nine types (31%) within these countries could cross the 30% CBD 2030 target with the addition of Key Biodiversity Areas. This indicator is based on the Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) and responds directly to the needs expressed by the users of these countries.

Comer PJ, Valdez J, Pereira HM, Acosta-Muñoz C, Campos F, Bonet García FJ, Claros X, Castro L, Dallmeier F, Domic Rivadeneira EY, Gill M, Josse C, Lafuente Cartagena I, Langstroth R, Larrea-Alcázar D, Masur A, Morejon Jaramillo G, Navarro L, Novoa S, Prieto-Albuja F, Rey Ortíz G, Teran MF, Zambrana-Torrelio C, Fernandez M. Conserving Ecosystem Diversity in the Tropical Andes. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(12):2847.