Database of Biodiversity, Habitat, and Aquatic-Resource Quantification Tools Used in Market-Based Conservation — 2022 Update

Fact Sheet 2022-3068
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
By: , and 

Links

Contents of the Updated Database

The updated database describes 107 quantification tools, which collectively assess at least 34 species and 39 habitat types. The attributes used to describe each tool encompass three broad categories: (1) general; (2) technical; and (3) ecological and geographic (table 1). Attributes were selected to convey the purpose and design of each tool, as well as the resources and skills needed to use them. Information about these tools was obtained from the websites of the tool owners as well as technical documents such as user guides, fillable forms, spreadsheet calculators and scientific methods documents. When these sources of information were unavailable or lacked certain details, points of contact (experts who developed or managed the tool) were asked to provide input about the tool attributes. The points of contact were also asked to confirm the accuracy of tool-specific information.

Table 1.    

Types of descriptive information contained in the database of quantification tools used in aquatic-resource compensatory mitigation, biodiversity, and habitat markets in the United States.

[Information in this table is grouped into three categories to aid interpretation; information in the database is not presented in the order displayed below]

Descriptive Attributes
General
Brief description Conservation mechanism Market type
Intended users User skill level Cost to access tool
Year finalized Associated documents Year of most recent documents
Document access websites Information websites Points of contact
Development funding sources Tool developers Tool owners
Technical
Requires new data Field data needed Number of data inputs
Data input platform Site assessment time Output type
Spatial mapping needs Assesses adverse impacts Update schedule
Ecological and geographic
Focal habitats Focal taxa Locations of use
Transferability Number of spatial scales assessed Risk to site viability factors
Connectivity incorporated Species presence or abundance incorporated
Table 1.    Types of descriptive information contained in the database of quantification tools used in aquatic-resource compensatory mitigation, biodiversity, and habitat markets in the United States.

Benefits of the Quantification Tools Database

The database is a centrally located and publicly available collection of diverse quantification tools that provides various benefits to users and the market-based conservation mechanisms that rely on these tools. It enables conservation practitioners and others engaged in conservation markets to better understand the purpose and function of the existing tools, thereby addressing the need for more transparency surrounding many assessment methods (Chiavacci and Pindilli, 2020). Greater transparency can help broaden the application of market-based conservation mechanisms. Additionally, an awareness of existing tools and an understanding of their purpose can facilitate the identification of taxonomic, habitat, or regional gaps in tool coverage. Lastly, the database can help tool developers avoid devoting resources to developing an assessment method like one that already exists. The wide variety of tools contained in the database, and the range of market and conservation program types they encompass, will likely greatly reduce the chances of redundant tool-building efforts.

Accessing the Database

Users can access and download the database by visiting https://doi.org/10.5066/F79G5M3X. The database is available in two formats: (1) a primary Excel file (.xlsx file extension) containing a database worksheet and two supporting information worksheets and formatted for ease of use and visual appeal, and (2) three single worksheets each representing one worksheet from the primary Excel file in comma-separated values (.csv file extension) format. The website listed above also contains a guide that briefly explains how to interpret the contents of each database file.

View of stream from underwater showing leaves and green moss-covered rocks.  Photograph
                        by Ryan Hagerty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.
Figure.

a. Assessing the quality and functionality of streams is a common objective of many quantification tools developed in the United States. These tools are often used to estimate the level of impairment or improvement to streams. Photograph by Ryan Hagerty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.

A monarch butterfly lands on a purple flower. Photograph by Grayson Smith, U.S. Fish
                        and Wildlife Service, used with permission.
Figure.

b. Population declines of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) led to a range of conservation efforts. One effort involves using a habitat quantification tool to assess habitat suitability for the species. Photograph by Grayson Smith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.

Trees and grass growing out of shallow water in the wetland. Photograph by Ryan Hagerty,
                        U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.
Figure.

c. Wetlands, similar to streams, are a common focus of habitat quantification tools. Such tools are typically designed to estimate wetland quality before or following adverse effects or restoration efforts. Photograph by Ryan Hagerty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.

A brown bog turtle sits in the tall, green grass and looks around. Photograph by Garry
                        Pebbles, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.
Figure.

d. The bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) is the smallest turtle in the United States. The species depends on spring fed wetlands and has been listed as federally threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1997. Efforts to conserve the species include the use of quantification tools for assessing habitat quality. Photograph by Garry Pebbles, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, used with permission.

References Cited

Chiavacci, S.J., and Pindilli, E.J., 2020, Trends in biodiversity and habitat quantification tools used for market-based conservation in the United States: Conservation Biology, v. 34, no. 1, p. 125–136. [Also available at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13349].

Chiavacci, S.J., French, E.D., and Morgan, J.A., 2022, Database of biodiversity, habitat, and aquatic resource quantification tools used for market-based conservation in the United States (ver. 2.0, June 2022): U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F79G5M3X.

For additional information, contact:

Scott J. Chiavacci, Ph.D., Ecologist

U.S. Geological Survey

Science and Decisions Center

12201 Sunrise Valley Drive

Reston, VA 20192

703-648-4063

schiavacci@usgs.gov

Disclaimers

Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Although this information product, for the most part, is in the public domain, it also may contain copyrighted materials as noted in the text. Permission to reproduce copyrighted items must be secured from the copyright owner.

Suggested Citation

Chiavacci, S.J., French, E.D., and Morgan, J.A., 2022, Database of biodiversity, habitat, and aquatic-resource quantification tools used in market-based conservation — 2022 update: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2022–3068, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20223068.

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Database of biodiversity, habitat, and aquatic-resource quantification tools used in market-based conservation — 2022 update
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2022-3068
DOI 10.3133/fs20223068
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Science and Decisions Center
Description 2 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details