Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: New Mexico
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

New Mexico Project

Mapping Biodiveristy Metrics

December 2010 - December 2015


Participating Agencies

  • Gap Analysis Program

It is widely understood that the human condition is intrinsically linked to the quality of the environment and the services it provides. Ecosystem services, i.e., "services provided to humans from natural systems," have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation, human well-being, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with economics to help explain the effects of human policies and the subsequent impacts on both ecosystem function and human welfare. Aspects of biodiversity are valued by humans in many ways, and thus are important to include in any assessment that seeks to identify and quantify the value of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., abundance and diversity of game species), whereas others reflect indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., relevance of species diversity to ecosystem resilience, cultural value of native species). Wildlife habitat has been modeled at broad spatial scales and can be used to map a number of biodiversity metrics. In this project, we are using USGS Gap Analysis Program data including land cover, land stewardship, and deductive habitat models for terrestrial vertebrate species to map metrics reflecting ecosystem services or biodiversity aspects valued by humans over large areas. Metrics are derived from species-of-greatest-conservation-need, threatened and endangered species, harvestable species (i.e., upland game, big game), total species richness, and taxon richness. The project is being conducted at multiple scales in a phased approach, i.e. place-based watersheds (San Pedro, Tampa Bay, Albemarle-Pamlico) to multi-state regional areas (Southwest and Southeast) that eventually will culminate in a national-level Sustainable Atlas of Ecosystem Services developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the conterminous U.S.

Research Publications Publication Date
Samson, E.A., W.G. Kepner, K.G. Boykin, D.F. Bradford, B.G. Bierwagen, A.K.K. Leimer, R.K. Guy. 2011. Evaluating Biodiversity Response to Forecasted Land-use Change: A Case Study in the South Platte River, CO. USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5169; 56-62. | Publisher Website 2011-09-30
Boykin, K.G., W.G. Kepner, D.F. Bradford, R.K. Guy, D.A. Kopp, A.K. Leimer, E.A. Samson, N.F. East, A.C. Neale, and K.J. Gergely. 2013. A National Approach for Mapping and Quantifying Habitat-based Biodiversity Metrics across Multiple Spatial Scales.Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.11.005. 2013-12-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Boykin, K.G., W.G. Kepner, D.F. Bradford, K.J. Gergely, A.C. Neale. 2011. Mapping Biodiversity Metrics Representing Ecosystem Services at Regional and National Landscape Scales. Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Climate Change Adaptation and Resource Management for the Sky Island Region April 13-14, 2011, Tucson, AZ. (Poster) 2011-04-13
Boykin, K.G., W.G. Kepner, D.F. Bradford, K.J. Gergely, A.C. Neale. 2010. Mapping Biodiversity Metrics Representing Ecosystem Services at Regional and National Landscape Scales. Environmental Protection Agency Ecosystem Services Research Program Third Annual Meeting, Oct 19-21, Las Vegas, NV.(Poster) 2010-10-20