Enhanced indicator species performance with increasing contextualization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indicator species need context to perform optimally for conservation purposes. If indicator potential is context-dependent, then indicators should improve with increasing spatial-environmental stratification. We tested this hypothesis by hierar-chically stratifying a species combinations matrix (plants and wetlands) using regionalization and site typology and analyzing class specificity and occupancy rate for indicators shared across strata. Performance of indicators collectively improved with increased sample stratification providing greater spatial-environmental con-text. Carefully considered sample classification schemes could strengthen the value of indicator species for monitoring biodiversity loss, environmental change, and management progress. However, the better accuracy of context-specific indicators will have to be weighed against the practical need for fewer broad-based indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere127
JournalConservation Science and Practice
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • INHS
  • surrogates
  • vegetation
  • wetlands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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