Assessment of quality of input data used to classify ecosystems according to the IUCN Red List methodology: The case of the central Chile hotspot

Alberto J. Alaniz, Mauricio Galleguillos, Jorge F. Perez-Quezada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the last decade, the IUCN has developed criteria analogous to the Red List of Threatened Species to perform similar risk assessment on ecosystems, creating the Red List of Ecosystems methodology. One of the most significant challenges for the construction of these lists is the gathering and availability of the information needed to apply the criteria. We present a complement to the IUCN's methodology to assess the threat level to ecosystems, estimating the spatial and temporal quality of the information available in scientific publications. We did this by applying the IUCN criteria to determine the threat level to the sclerophyll ecosystems of central Chile. Spatially explicit studies that identify disturbances in the structure of the vegetation were selected, making it possible to quantify effectively the reduction in the ecosystems’ distribution. The spatial and temporal quality of the assessment were estimated as the percentage of the potential ecosystem distribution and the time frame recommended by the IUCN (50 years), that the studies represented for each ecosystem. The application of the methodology allowed the assessment of a high percentage of the ecosystems (85%), which were classified based on the studies with ranges of temporal quality from 30 to 100% and spatial quality from 12 to 100%. If only the assessments with more than medium spatio-temporal quality are considered (> 50%), eight of the 17 evaluated ecosystems are classified in threat categories, which represents 22.9% of the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-385
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume204
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ecosystem collapse
  • Spatial quality
  • Temporal quality
  • Threat level

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