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Biological Conservation
Volume 267, 2022, 109484

Spatial mismatch in diversity facets reveals contrasting protection for New Zealand's cetacean biodiversity

Théophile L. Moutona,i, Fabrice Stephensonb, Leigh G. Torresc, Will Raymentd

MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, Ifremer, IRD, Montpellier, France.


Cetaceans play key roles in the world's ecosystems and provide important economic and social benefits. New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone is a global biodiversity hotspot for cetaceans and benefits from a system of marine protected areas (MPAs). However, spatial patterns of cetacean biodiversity and their overlap with MPAs have never been assessed. We quantify this overlap by using a comprehensive cetacean at-sea sightings database, high-resolution environmental data layers, and information on ecological and evolutionary characteristics of each species to model spatial patterns of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of cetaceans. We examine areas of congruence among hotspots of richness and uniqueness components of biodiversity and measure the contribution of species to biodiversity.

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