Presentation on theme: "Freshwater conservation planning Systematic conservation planning and the role of software: from data to implementation and management Society for Conservation."— Presentation transcript:
Freshwater conservation planning Systematic conservation planning and the role of software: from data to implementation and management Society for Conservation Biology Port Elizabeth June 2007 Jeanne Nel
Page 2 Outline Framework for freshwater conservation planning Planning units for freshwater Mapping biodiversity pattern Incorporating biodiversity processes Quantitative targets Conservation design Scheduling catchments for implementation Integration with terrestrial conservation Implications of climate change Try to cover “high road” (plenty of data, time and funding) and “low road” (no data, or rapid assessment) options
Page 3 Framework for freshwater conservation planning Same overarching goals and principles to terrestrial No single “recipe” as methods depend on: Data availability Expert knowledge Skills & training of the conservation planning team Time & budgetary constraints Attention needs to be given to: Supporting process data layers, especially connectivity Rehabilitation Supporting process layers are space hungry – make more palatable for implementation through: Multiple-use zoning Scheduling
Page 4 Planning units Sub-catchments small enough to match variability of biodiversity pattern Immediately captures some degree of connectivity These are still generally larger than terrestrial planning units
Page 5 Biodiversity pattern River types Focal fish species Focal invertebrate species Wetland types Free-flowing rivers Special features Riparian forests Scenic gorges and waterfalls Large intact wetlands
Page 6 Biodiversity pattern: river types Top down vs bottom up approaches (Kingsford et al. 2005) Based on variables that drive heterogeneity vs those that respond to heterogeneity Drivers generally based on hydrology and geomorphology, for which surrogates can be derived Response variables generally use biota and water chemistry, are data intensive and often confounded by human impacts General trend is to use hydrogeomorphological classification ………..AND supplement wherever possible with freshwater focal species Classification approaches: Higgins et al Conservation Biology 19(2): Kingsford, R.T. et al Available from:
Page 7 Application of classification approaches: Nel et al Diversity and Distributions 13: Thieme et al Biological Conservation 135: Biodiversity pattern: river types VEGETATION HYDROLOGICAL VARIABILITY LANDSCAPE-LEVEL CLASSIFICATION STREAM GRADIENTS RIVER TYPES STREAM-LEVEL CLASSIFICATION Spatial overlay Spatial overlay GEOLOGY CLIMATE …clean slivers & assess ”false heterogeneity”
Page 8 Biodiversity pattern: River types Hydrological variation Low road: model water balance using mean annual precipitation and evapotranspiration; provides sub-catchment level hydrology Middle road: model using hydrological gauge data; generally only available for main rivers High road: use topocadastral data which ID’s perenniality based on seasonal surveys Stream gradients Low road: use elevation thresholds to ID high-elevation, mid-elevation and lowland streams High road: Model stream slope based on rivers and DEM GIS layers & assign geomorphological zonation: Lumped geomorphological zone Rowntree and Wadeson (1999) zones Source zoneSource zones Mountain streamMountain headwater & mountain streams Upper foothillsTransitional zones and upper foothills Lower foothills Lowland river
Page 9 Example of river types…… River type name Total length (km) Length intact (km) Target (km) Perennial-South Western Coastal Belt-Mountain stream Perennial-South Western Coastal Belt-Upper foothills Perennial-South Western Coastal Belt-Lower foothills Perennial-Western Folded Mountains-Mountain stream Perennial-Western Folded Mountains-Upper foothills Perennial-Western Folded Mountains-Lower foothills Perennial-Western Folded Mountains-Lowland river Non-perennial-Great Karoo-Mountain stream Non-perennial-Great Karoo-Lower foothills From: Nel et al Available from:
Page 10 Biodiversity pattern: Wetland delineations Orthophotos and user-interpretation – works very well but time- consuming and mentally tedious Remote sensing: Fine-resolution (< 30 m) imagery hold potential but is still relatively expensive 30 m resolution imagery with wetness potential models (based on seasonality, geology, topography) has been used in South Africa, but with disconcerting levels of accuracy Amalgamation of existing GIS layers: Delineations from ad hoc site visits by ecologists Wetlands marked on 1: topocadastral maps 30 m resolution waterbodies corrected for dams, and enhanced using wetness potential models) Relevant literature: Ewart-Smith et al Available from the Water Research Commission, South Africa, Report K8/652. Goetz et al Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 42(1):
Page 11 Biodiversity pattern: Wetland types Floristic vs hydrogeomorphological classification frameworks Hydrogeomorphological frameworks classify according to ecological functional type and tend to be more commonly used South African National Classification Framework: Hierarchical Based primarily on hydrogeomorphological criteria Biotic criteria are used as secondary descriptors Vegetation group Alluvial Dune Strandveld Fynbos Nama Karoo Renosterveld Salt Marsh Salt Pans Sand and Dune Fynbos Succulent Karoo DrainageLandform (shape and/or setting) Non-isolatedValley bottom Floodplain Depression linked to channel Seep linked to channel IsolatedDepression not linked to a channel Seep not linked to a channel Level 1: Primary descriptors Secondary descriptors Relevant literature: Ewart-Smith et al Available from the Water Research Commission, South Africa, Report K8/652.
Page 12 Biodiversity pattern: Wetland types Functional type is based on drainage, landform and/or setting Can use surrogates based on river buffers, soil depth and slope Slope from United States 90 m digital elevation data; 169/Project3.htm 169/Project3.htm Soil from General Soils Pattern Map of South Africa which provides soil and terrain information at a 1: scale. Available from Results are strongly limited by scale of environmental surrogates FunctionalSurrogate Valley bottomWetlands occurring on slopes of 0-2.4° and soils < 450 m that are not “Depression” or “Floodplain” FloodplainWetlands intersecting a 100 m GIS buffer around lowland river reaches DepressionPans from 1:50000 topocadastral Seep linked to channelWetlands occurring within a 100 m GIS buffer of a 1:50,000 river, on slopes of > 2.4° and soils > 450 mm that are not “Depression” or “Floodplain” Seep not linked to a channelWetlands occurring outside a 100 m GIS buffer of a 1:50,000 river, on slopes of > 2.4° and soils > 450 mm that are not “Depression” or “Floodplain”
Page 13 Example of wetland types…… From: Nel et al Available from:
Page 14 Biodiversity pattern: Focal fish species Umbrella, keystone, flagship, threatened, rare or endemic species Point locality & expert knowledge What is the status of the population at each locality Exclude marginal river reaches; select ones with the most suitable habitat & containing populations large enough to be “viable” Modelled distributions and probability of occurrence Core populations based on abundances Needs to be accompanied by persistence considerations Relevant literature: Brewer et al North American Journal of Fisheries Management 27:326–341. Filipe et al Conservation Biology 18: Nel et al Available from: Winston & Angermeier Conservation Biology 9:
Page 15 Example of fish sanctuaries and connector areas From: Nel et al Available from:
Page 16 Biodiversity pattern: other focal species Data almost non-existent Invertebrates often exist at family level; rarely species level problematic All families (90)Focal genera (25) But see Linke et al Relevant literature: Linke et al Freshwater Biology 52:918–938.
Page 17 Biodiversity pattern: special features The low road option of incorporating expert knowledge! Features generally include: Rivers free of alien fish Intact river gorges & waterfalls (scenic and evolutionary value) Large known & intact wetland systems All were included as moderate protection zones in the final conservation design, PLUS Planning unit cost was “discounted” for all sub-quaternary catchments containing special features
Page 18 Outline Framework for freshwater conservation planning Planning units for freshwater – sub-catchments….see Hydrosheds Mapping biodiversity pattern Incorporating biodiversity processes Quantitative targets Conservation design Scheduling catchments for implementation Integration with terrestrial conservation Implications of climate change Try to cover “high road” (plenty of data, time and funding) and “low road” (no data, or rapid assessment) options
Page 19 Biodiversity processes Four key considerations for freshwaters: Step 1: Select systems of high ecological integrity Step 2: Incorporate connectivity Step 3: Incorporate any additional spatial processes Step 4: Select persistent populations Relevant literature: Pressey et al. in press. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Pressey et al Biological Conservation 112: 99–127. Rouget et al Conservation Biology 20(2): 549–561. Sarkar et al Annual Review of Environmental Resources 31:123–59.
Page 20 Step 1: Select systems of high ecological integrity Incorporates numerous local-scale processes & large- scale processes associated with the natural flow regime Use as an initial screening mechanism in selecting for pattern targets Field-based biological assessments at site-level BUT labour intensive Land cover surrogates in riparian buffers & throughout the catchment BUT cumulative upstream impacts can be problematic Wherever possible use field-based data and modelling in combination Relevant literature: Amis et al Water SA 33(2): Matteson & Angermeier Environmental Management 39:125–138. Snyder et al Journal of the American Water Resources Association 41:
Page 21 Methods for mapping ecological integrity Used national data (Kleynhans 2000) Flow Inundation Water quality Stream bed condition Introduced instream biota Riparian or stream bank condition Integrity categories A (largely natural) to F (unacceptably modified) Evaluated against site assessment data Used 30 x 30 m national land cover to calculate % natural vegetation, deriving: Catchment disturbance index (sub- quaternary catchment) Riparian disturbance index (within a GIS buffer of 500 m) Macro-channel disturbance index (within a GIS buffer of 100 m) Used 80% as threshold for “intact” vs “not intact” Downgraded any intact tributaries with > 5 % erosion within 500 m of channel Main rivers in quaternaryTributaries (all other 500K rivers)
Page 22 Map of ecological integrity 23% main rivers intact; 57% if tributaries are added Emphasizes the role of tributaries as refugia Main rivers need to be in a state that supports connectivity From: Nel et al Available from: Other application studies: Linke et al Freshwater Biology 52:918–938 Thieme et al Biological Conservation 135:
Page 23 Wetland integrity/condition Use NLC2000 to calculate % natural vegetation, deriving: Catchment disturbance index (sub-quaternary catchment) Buffered core disturbance index (within a GIS buffer of 100 m) Core disturbance index (within a GIS buffer of 50 m) Assign the minimum of these three indices to each wetland Any wetland with a minimum natural vegetation of ≥ 90 % considered “Intact”, all others “Not intact” For 10 wetland types that cannot meet their conservation targets in “Intact” wetlands, lower the minimum natural vegetation threshold to 80 % 8 wetlands still cannot achieve targets……Need to look at rehab
Page 24 Step 2: Incorporate connectivity 3 spatial dimensions: Longitudinal Lateral Vertical 1 temporal dimension natural flow regime temporal availability of surface water All 4 dimensions are highly inter-dependent Space hungry so try to allocate different protection levels Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group 1998 (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/stream_restoration/Images/scrhimage/part1/part1a.jpg).http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/stream_restoration/Images/scrhimage/part1/part1a.jpg Relevant literature: Freeman et al Journal of the American Water Resources Association 43(1):5-14. Pringle Ecological Applications 11(4): Ward Journal of the North American Benthological Society 8: 2–8.
Page 25 Longitudinal connectivity Large rivers free of artificial barriers “High” protection level Habitat requirements explicitly mapped “High” & “Moderate” protection level Upstream management zones “Moderate” protection level
Page 26 Lateral connectivity Modelled sub-catchments Allocated a “Very high” protection level if needed for pattern targets Riparian zones 50 m: mountain & upper foothill streams 100 m: lower foothills & lowland rivers Allocated a “High” protection level Wetland functioning zones Functional types were afforded different protections levels based on their functional importance & sensitivity Landform (shape and/or setting)Functional importance SensitivityProtection level Valley bottomVery highHigh FloodplainHighModerate Seep linked to channelHighVery HighHigh Seep not linked to a channelModerateVery HighModerate
Page 27 Wetland functioning zones Need to investigate linking different buffer widths to functional importance and sensitivity …………
Page 28 Vertical connectivity Groundwater sustains river flow and refuge pools in the summer low flow periods Significant areas of groundwater-surface water discharge Areas where there is a medium to high prediction of groundwater to surface water interaction Modelled using 6 GIS surrogates: geological permeability, groundwater depth, springs, faults, presence of groundwater dependent vegetation, national estimates of baseflow contribution Significant areas of groundwater recharge Use 1 x 1 km national recharge data, based on the Chloride Mass Balance Areas with > 30 mm/yr recharge considered significant These were allocated a “Moderate” protection level Relevant literature: Baker et al Environmental Management. 32(6): Brown et al CSIR Report No. CSIR/NEW/WR/ER/2006/0187B/C, CSIR, Pretoria.
Page 29 Vertical connectivity Groundwater-surface water dischargeGroundwater recharge
Page 30 Relevant literature: Brown et al CSIR Report No. CSIR/NEW/WR/ER/2006/0187B/C, CSIR, Pretoria. Temporal connectivity Spatial dimensions are strongly dependent on temporal dynamics of the natural flow regime Rivers cannot be “locked-away” Environmental Flow Assessments try to balance human & ecological requirements Recommendations for Olifants, Doring and 2 major tributaries: Compromise middle reaches of Olifants for no further development of the Doring; & for some rehabilitation Tributaries of the Doring responsible for majority of Mean Annual Runoff included as upstream management zones & afforded “Moderate” protection levels intact not intact
Page 31 Step 3: Incorporate any additional spatial processes Steps 1 and 2 cater for generic processes of most freshwater systems There may be other specific processes that can be mapped, also termed: “Fixed spatial components" (Rouget et al. 2006) / “Spatial catalysts" (Pressey et al. in press) Commonly defined using environmental surrogates such as climate, topography, geology, soils and vegetation Freshwater-specific examples: Areas of significant water yield (Driver et al. 2005) Areas of high erosion potential (Adinarayana et al. 1999) Evolutionary barriers, e.g. waterfalls & gorges (Roux et al. 2002) Generally can be allocated a “Moderate” level of protection. Relevant literature: Adinarayana et al Catena 37:309–318 Driver et al Strelitzia 17: Pressey et al. in press. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Rouget et al Conservation Biology 20(2): 549–561. Roux et al Conservation Ecology 6(2): 6. [online] URL:
Page 32 Step 4: Select persistent populations Accommodated by Steps 1 and 2, but serves as a further safe-guard where data exist Considers requirements specific to the persistence of each focal species, for example: Identifying and establishing linkages between all critical habitat Identification of spatial refugia and relevant linkages Replication within the planning region in areas that are unlikely to be influenced by the same natural or human disturbances Incorporating populations or metapopulations that are large enough to prevent extinction from random demographic and genetic events Relevant literature: Moyle & Yoshiyama Fisheries 19:6-18. Poiani et al BioScience 50(2):
Page 33 Persistent populations Replication Pattern targets can stipulate that each species must be represented at least twice by populations preferably on different major river systems Suitable habitat & populations Core populations River with the most suitable habitat & containing the largest populations should be selected from point locality data for achieving pattern target Habitat requirements Many of the larger-sized species require a combination of mainstem and tributary habitat For small-sized species, vulnerable to predation by invasive species in the mainstem, connectivity was excluded Fish sanctuaries for pattern targets afforded the highest protection level (“Very high”); linkages between sanctuaries allocated a “Moderate” protection level
Page 34 The importance of zones So much land freaks managers out Allocating multiple-use zones can help, e.g. : Freshwater focal area Critical management zone Catchment management zone From: Abell et al Biological Conservation 134:
Page 35 How to incorporate all these processes Sub-catchments as planning units Ecological integrity Species habitat suitability & population size Species replication [Habitat requirements] Large, “free-flowing” rivers Habitat requirements High water yield areas Riparian zones Wetland functioning zones Groundwater-surface water discharge areas Groundwater recharge areas Upstream management zones Implementation Guidelines on environmental flows
Page 36 Outline Framework for freshwater conservation planning Planning units for freshwater – sub-catchments….see Hydrosheds Mapping biodiversity pattern Incorporating biodiversity processes Quantitative targets & conservation design Scheduling catchments for implementation Integration with terrestrial conservation Implications of climate change Try to cover “high road” (plenty of data, time and funding) and “low road” (no data, or rapid assessment) options
Page 37 Conservation targets River and wetland types Generally use 20%, based on length of river; area of river buffered by 100 m; area of sub-catchment; area of wetland Occurrence has also been used – e.g. at least one of river type X Combination of 20% and occurrence can also be used – e.g. 20% of each wetland type represented in at least 3 different systems Species Simplistic – at least once Replication – at least twice, preferably on different major systems Free-flowing rivers & special features 100% but for special features generally do not include the whole planning unit, only the feature itself Discount the planning unit cost to favor selection for other conservation targets
Page 38 Spatial configuration for pattern targets Decision support software for achieving pattern targets, e.g. Marxan or C-Plan: C-Plan calculates irreplaceability better Marxan does costs and connectivity better Generally combine, but similar matrices so not much extra work Matrices Sub-catchment id River type A ……… Wet type A Wet type B ……… Fish P/A 1 Extent of intact river type within sub-catchmentExtent of intact wetland type within sub-catchmentP/A
Page 39 Spatial configuration for pattern targets Planning unit cost used to achieve additional spatial efficiency with: Spatial catalysts (e.g. apply a discount to planning units containing free- flowing rivers or water yield areas by) Terrestrial priority areas We hardly ever use area as cost; and have not yet integrated soic- economic costs into our planning Boundary penalty Strong boundary penalty to pass- through sub-catchments will force connectivity Difficult to allocate multiple-use zones are selected planning units for pattern, connectivity or both Therefore tend to be conservative with the boundary penalty factor
Page 40 Conservation design Using costs & boundary penalty, choose areas for pattern targets
Page 41 Conservation design Using costs & boundary penalty, choose areas for pattern targets Add in areas requiring rehabilitation
Page 42 Conservation design Using costs & boundary penalty, choose areas for pattern targets Add in areas requiring rehabilitation Add in supporting zones
Page 43 Future work Testing the performance of surrogates Integration with terrestrial Wetlands and riparian zones of selected rivers integrate well with terrestrial planning units In areas where there are no river choices, select rivers first and then achieve residual terrestrial and wetland targets In areas where there are choices, investigate using terrestrial priorities in the sub-catchment planning unit cost Terrestrial priority areas may conflict with FW goals Scheduling Integrating socio-economic costs; particularly with target achievement
Page 44 Climate change Aaaargh!!! Eren help!!!!