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The optimal biodiversity–A new dimension of landscape assessment

Bukvareva, Elena
Ecological indicators 2018 v.94 pp. 6-11
ecosystem services, ecosystems, environmental factors, habitats, landscape management, landscapes, people, species diversity, viability
The principle of the optimal biodiversity suggests that diversity is an adaptation of biological systems to environmental conditions. Biosystems with the optimal values of diversity are the most effective, have the maximum viability and capacity of ecosystem functioning and services. The optimal diversity values depend on the degree of environmental stability and the amount of available resource. The optimal values of intrapopulation diversity decrease in more stable conditions, while the optimal values of species richness increase. The resource amount does not affect the optimal values of intrapopulation diversity and increases the optimal species richness.The objective of this article is to propose possible applications of the optimal biodiversity principle to estimation of biodiversity on a landscape. A landscape can be considered as a mosaic of undisturbed natural communities with the near-optimal diversity and communities that were disturbed by people and moved away from the optimal state for different distances.The main implications of the optimal biodiversity concept to landscape management are as follows:The criterion of ecological importance is the optimal biodiversity, and not high indices of species diversity. Natural ecosystems with low species richness can be no less important than the highly diverse habitats. Both species and intrapopulation diversity should be monitored and managed. Different ecosystem services require different management strategy in relation to biodiversity. Trade-off between provisioning and regulating services should take into account the reaction of biodiversity to management actions.