Feeling Hot Hot Hot?
Hotspots as focal points of conservation and
Questions we find interesting:
• Are hotspots good conservation
• In particular, are the 25 hotspots
proposed by Myers et al. good targets?
• Do marine hotspots exist?
• Are coral reefs hotspots or simply
• Are marine hotspots the same as
Why discuss hotspots?
• Targets of
conservation effort and
• Areas that can be
potentially useful for
understanding of local
patterns of biodiversity
Definitions of hotspots:
• High endemism and high threat (Myers et al.
• Relatively high species richness (Prendergast et
• High levels of rarity or endemism (Williams
• High complementarity (Araujo and Williams 2001)
• Concentrations of endangered species
Tour of Hotspot Literature
First mentioned ‘biodiversity
• Prendergast et al. 1993: Cross-taxon congruence,
rarity and species richness
• Williams 1996: Complementary areas as alternatives to
areas of richness as hotspots.
A review of hotspot definitions and their use for
et al. 2000:
Expands list of global terrestrial
Theoretical relevance of hotspots:
• Cross-taxon congruence
• Ecological transition zones
• Sampling effects
Hotspots in Myers et al.
defined ‘biodiversity hotspots’ as areas ‘where
exceptional concentrations of endemic species
are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat.’
1. An area must contain at least 0.5% or 1,500 of the
world’s 300,000 plant species as endemics.
2. A hotspot should have lost 70% or more of its
Myers et al. 2000:
25 global biodiversity hotspots, areas of high endemism and
Comparison: Hughes et al. and Roberts et al.
Central Indo-Pacific is
Cross taxon congruence in
species richnes patterns
Number of small range
fishes and corals
Cross-taxon centers of
Congruence of species
richness and endemicity
yes for corals, no for
fish, snails, and
Hotpots as conservation
Conservation recommendations of
Hughes et al. and Roberts et al.
• A ‘two pronged’ strategy for marine conservation
shifting focus from hotspots to preservation of
connectivity and genetic diversity for pandemic
species, as well as intensive protection of peripheral
areas with high endemism.
• A different ‘two pronged’ strategy to conserve
hotspots and areas of high richness not currently
classified as hotspots due to low habitat threat.
Roberts et al. 2002: Concordance in species
richness, level of threat, and concordance in range
hotspots be primary targets for
conservation? What about other habitats?
• Which elements of the Hughes and
Roberts conservation strategies can we
recommend, and do we have additional
• Is the definition of hotspot used by Myers
et al. an optimal definition?
Future directions for research:
• Continue the search for indicator species
of multi-taxon richness
• Continue the search for global hotspots in
• Quantify patterns of invertebrate diversity
• Knowledge of regional scale variation in
species richness and patterns of endemsim.
“We could go far towards safeguarding the
hotspots and thus a large proportion of all
species at risk for an average of $20 million
per hotspot per year over the next five years,
or $500 million annually. Although this is 12.5
times the annual average of the $400 million
spent on hotspots over the past decade, it is
still only twice the cost of a single Pathfinder
mission to Mars, which has been justified
largely on biodiversity grounds (the search for
-Myers et al. (Nature 2000)