Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 38-46.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.09180

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identification of the priority areas for marine biodiversity conservation

Jinlan Lin, Bin Chen*(), Hao Huang, Weiwei Yu, Zhiyuan Ma, Guangcheng Chen   

  1. The Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen, Fujian 361005
  • Received:2012-09-10 Accepted:2013-01-10 Online:2013-01-20 Published:2013-02-04
  • Contact: Chen Bin


Due to the uneven distribution of organisms on earth, the identification of priority areas for marine biodiversity conservation has become a hot-topic of scientific research. One aim of this research is to allow the effective use of limited resources and reasonable protection of biodiversity. In this paper, priority areas for biodiversity conservation are defined as those areas featuring abundant biodiversity, richness of endemic species, a concentration of rare and endangered species, and important ecological function and process. The techniques and methods used in selecting the priority areas of marine biodiversity conservation were analyzed in three respects, including marine zoning methods, indicator system construction and priority assessment of biodiversity conservation. Basic ideas for determining priority areas of marine biodiversity conservation in Chinese seas were then proposed based on the current status of marine biodiversity in China. Finally, in consideration of existing problems, some suggestions are given, such as the use of a biogeographic classification approach to partition the study area, the construction of an index system at species and ecosystem level, and the establishment of a biodiversity information system (database).

Key words: priority conservation, biogeographic classification, techniques and methods