Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide

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Title: Local biodiversity is higher inside than outside terrestrial protected areas worldwide
Authors: Hill, SLL
Newbold, T
Hudson, LN
Borger, L
Contu, S
Hoskins, AJ
Ferrier, S
Purvis, A
Scharlemann, JPW
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches.
Issue Date: 28-Jul-2016
Date of Acceptance: 27-May-2016
ISSN: 2041-1723
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 7
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Sponsor/Funder: The Royal Society
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: WM100051
Keywords: Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 12306
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences

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