There has been much interest in the potential of short-cuts in biodiversity surveys (e.g. physical surrogates, indicator groups, and lower taxonomic resolution) in systematic processes to select networks of representative marine reserves. This study tested the consequences for reserve selection of reducing survey intensity in intertidal rocky shores in southeast Australia. Using a reference data set of species'' distributions based on surveys of two replicate sites in each of 15 locations, a reduction in survey intensity was simulated by randomly eliminating the data from one of the replicate sites in each location. A complementarity-based reserve selection algorithm was used to determine the number of locations required to represent all species once in a reserve network and the irreplaceability value of locations. A reduction in survey intensity led to increases in: the size of reserve networks (of between 8 and 17%); the irreplaceability value of locations; and the number of irreplaceable locations. These changes were caused by a reduction in the observed range sizes of species in the data sets simulating a reduced survey intensity.
Biodiversity and Conservation Vol. 12, Issue 7, p. 1525-1536