A framework for the classification Chilean terrestrial ecosystems as a tool for achieving global conservation targets

Karina Martínez-Tilleria, Mariela Núñez-Ávila*, Carolina A. León, Patricio Pliscoff, Francisco A. Squeo, Juan J. Armesto

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

12 Citas (Scopus)


Countries that are signatories of the Convention of Biological Diversity are committed to the goal of protecting 17% of their natural ecosystems by 2020. The lack of an up-to-date, operational classification and cartography of regional ecosystems seriously limits the assessment of progress towards this goal. Here, we present a broad ecosystem framework, which combines land use, functional traits of dominant plant species, and climatic factors for the classification of terrestrial ecosystems and apply this framework to classify Chilean terrestrial ecosystems. This new classification is consistent with the recently proposed IUCN framework to assess ecosystem conservation status. Using this framework, we identified and described 30 Chilean terrestrial ecosystems, including land units of natural and anthropogenic origin. We also provide a cartographic representation of ecosystems for land planning purposes and an overall assessment of their conservation status. We evaluated the representation of the 30 ecosystems in the Chilean National System of Protected Areas (NSPA) and in Private Protected Areas (PPA), identifying 15 ecosystems underrepresented (below the 17% target) in the NSPA, in contrast to only 11 when the area of NSPA+PPA was considered. The proposed classification can be broadly applicable to assess the conservation status of ecosystems elsewhere, using similar conceptual and methodological tools. The development of functional ecosystem classifications for different countries must be encouraged to facilitate monitoring of global conservation targets.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)2857-2876
Número de páginas20
PublicaciónBiodiversity and Conservation
EstadoPublicada - 1 nov. 2017
Publicado de forma externa

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


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