Geostatistical Approach to Find ‘Hotspots’ Where Biodiversity is at Risk in a Transition Country

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Abstract

Global change‟ is a relatively recent concept, related to the energy - land use - climate change nexus, and designated to include all changes produced by the human species and the consequences of its activities over natural ecological complexes and biodiversity. The joint effects of these drivers of change are particularly relevant to understanding the changes of biodiversity. This study overlaps results of previous studies developed in Romania to find, explain and predict potential threats on biodiversity, including the effects of very high temperatures and low precipitations, urban sprawl and deforestation in order to identify „hotspots‟ of high risk for the loss of biodiversity using geostatistical tools. The results found two hotspots, one in the center and the other one in the south, and show that the area affected by three factors simultaneously represents 0.2% of the national territory, while paired effects cover 4% of it. The methodological advantage of this approach is its capacity to pinpoint hotspots with practical relevance. Nevertheless, its generalizing character impairs its use at the local scale..

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