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A mesofilter conservation strategy to complement fine and coarse filters

Conservation Biology


Setting aside entire ecosystems in reserves is an efficient way to maintain biodiversity because large numbers of species are protected, but ecosystem conservation constitutes a coarse filter that does not address some species. A complementary, fine filter approach is also required to provide tailored management for some species (e.g., those subject to direct exploitation). Mesofilter conservation is another complementary approach that focuses on conserving critical elements of ecosystems that are important to many species, especially those likely to be overlooked by fine filter approaches, such as invertebrates, fungi, and nonvascular plants. Critical elements include. structures such as logs, snags, pools, springs, streams, reefs, and hedgerows, and processes such as fires and floods. Mesofilter conservation is particularly appropriate for seminatural ecosystems that are managed for both biodiversity and commodity production (e.g., forests managed for timber, grasslands managed for livestock forage, and aquatic ecosystems managed for fisheries) and is relevant to managing some agricultural and urban environments for biodiversity.

Author(s): Hunter, ML

Journal: Conservation Biology

Year: 2005


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