Forests 2012, 3(3), 764-786; doi:10.3390/f3030764
Article

Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina

1 CONICET, Institute of Regional Ecology (IER), National University of Tucumán, Casilla de correo 34, Yerba Buena 4107, Tucumán, Argentina 2 Center for Atlantic Forest Investigation (CeIBA), Bertoni 85-N3370BFA, Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, Argentina 3 Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis, Department of Geography and Global Studies, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 June 2012; in revised form: 31 July 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 27 August 2012
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Abstract: Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan) to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield) in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands) do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas.
Keywords: ecosystem services; conservation prioritization; Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest; Marxan; habitat; carbon; water yield; soil retention

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MDPI and ACS Style

Izquierdo, A.E.; Clark, M.L. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina. Forests 2012, 3, 764-786.

AMA Style

Izquierdo AE, Clark ML. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina. Forests. 2012; 3(3):764-786.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Izquierdo, Andrea E.; Clark, Matthew L. 2012. "Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina." Forests 3, no. 3: 764-786.

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