Integrated land-sea planning in the Gulf of California, Mexico

Spatial management, including setting aside conservation areas, is central to curbing the global decline of biodiversity, but many threats originate from beyond the boundaries of conservation areas. This is a particular problem in marine systems, which are influenced by many activities on land. In particular, human-induced changes to river loads of nutrients and sediments pose a significant threat to coastal marine ecosystems. Ongoing land-use change can further increase these loads, and amplify the impacts of land-based threats on vulnerable marine species and habitats. Consequently, there is a need to assess these threats and prioritise actions to mitigate their impacts. Integrated land-sea conservation planning incorporates ecological connections between land and sea and seeks to limit land-based threats to coastal-marine ecosystems, while achieving conservation objectives on the land. This dataset comprises four sub-datasets with spatial and non-spatial information required to develop and integrate models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management in selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico.

    Data Record Details
    Data record related to this publication Integrated land-sea planning in the Gulf of California, Mexico
    Data Publication title Integrated land-sea planning in the Gulf of California, Mexico
  • Description

    Spatial management, including setting aside conservation areas, is central to curbing the global decline of biodiversity, but many threats originate from beyond the boundaries of conservation areas. This is a particular problem in marine systems, which are influenced by many activities on land. In particular, human-induced changes to river loads of nutrients and sediments pose a significant threat to coastal marine ecosystems. Ongoing land-use change can further increase these loads, and amplify the impacts of land-based threats on vulnerable marine species and habitats. Consequently, there is a need to assess these threats and prioritise actions to mitigate their impacts. Integrated land-sea conservation planning incorporates ecological connections between land and sea and seeks to limit land-based threats to coastal-marine ecosystems, while achieving conservation objectives on the land. This dataset comprises four sub-datasets with spatial and non-spatial information required to develop and integrate models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management in selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico.

  • Other Descriptors
    • Descriptor

      We demonstrate a practical approach to integrating models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management. In selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico, we employed Land Change Modeller to assess the vulnerability of areas with native vegetation to conversion into crops, pasture, and urban areas. We then used SedNet, a catchment modelling tool, to map the sources and estimate pollutant loads delivered to the Gulf by these catchments. Following these analyses, we used modelled river plumes to identify marine areas likely influenced by land-based pollutants. Finally, we prioritised areas for catchment management based on objectives for conservation of terrestrial biodiversity and objectives for water quality that recognised links between pollutant sources and affected marine areas. Our objectives for coastal-marine water quality were to reduce sediment and nutrient discharges from anthropic areas, and minimise future increases in coastal sedimentation and eutrophication. Our objectives for protection of terrestrial biodiversity covered species of vertebrates. We used Marxan, a conservation planning tool, to prioritise interventions and explore spatial differences in priorities for both objectives. This dataset comprises four sub-datasets with spatial and non-spatial information required to develop and integrate models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software to inform prioritisation of catchment management in selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico: Biodiversity data (01_BIO): includes table with information about species endemicity, protection/threat status, and conservation goals (Excel Spreadsheet) and species distribution models of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (ESRI Shapefile format). Modelling spatial data (02_GIS): includes maps (ESRI Shapefile format) of land-use and vegetation cover maps for 4 time periods (i.e. original extent of native vegetation before extensive clearing and modern agriculture, 1976, 1993, and 2000); modelling domain masks (Gulf of California and study region); natural protected areas; wildlife management units; terrestrial vegetation types; drainage basins; digital elevation model; terrestrial bioregions; marine management units (including conservation value); analysis/planning units; major rivers; and roads. Land-use Change Models (03_LCM): includes maps (ESRI Raster Grid format) depicting the probability of change from natural vegetation to three anthropic land uses: cropland, modified pasture and urban areas (modelled using Land Use Change Modeller). Water Quality data (04_WQ): includes maps (ESRI Shapefile and Raster Grid formats), key parameters (Excel Spreadsheets), and data processing/analysis (PDF) underlying catchment modelling (using SedNet or N-SPECT models), comprised by: catchment delineation; land classes and vegetation cover; riparian vegetation map; soil key characteristics (hydrologic soil group, erodibility, curve numbers); floodplain mapping; pollutant event mean concentrations (EMC); rainfall and precipitation settings; rainfall erosivity mapping; evapotranspiration map; reservoir mapping; modelled river plumes; hydrometric data collation and processing, as well as geographic location, flow data and sediment data (for regulated and unregulated hydrometric stations); and soil spatial layers (clay and nutrient content).

    • Descriptor type Full
    • Descriptor

      This dataset is associated with the following publications: Álvarez-Romero, J.G., R.L. Pressey, N.C. Ban, J. Brodie. 2015. Advancing land-sea conservation planning: integrating modelling of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes to prioritise catchment management and protection. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0145574 Álvarez-Romero, J.G., S.N. Wilkinson, R.L. Pressey, N.C. Ban, J. Kool, J. Brodie. 2014. Modeling catchment nutrients and sediment loads to inform regional management of water quality in coastal-marine ecosystems: a comparison of two approaches. Journal of Environmental Management 146: 164-178

    • Descriptor type Note
  • Data type collection
  • Keywords
    • biodiversity conservation
    • marine protected area
    • multi-objective planning
    • integrated cross-realm planning
    • integrated land-sea planning
    • land change modeler
    • MPA
    • N-SPECT
    • protected area
    • river plume model
    • SedNet
    • catchment model
    • systematic conservation planning
    • terrestrial conservation
    • water quality
    • cross-system threat
    • integrated land-sea conservation planning
    • land-based pollution
    • land-use change model
    • marine conservation
    • marine spatial planning
    • Marxan
    • ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • Funding source
  • Research grant(s)/Scheme name(s)
  • Research themes
    Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
    FoR Codes (*)
    • 050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity
    SEO Codes
    • 960902 - Coastal and Estuarine Land Management
    • 960903 - Coastal and Estuarine Water Management
    • 960805 - Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
    Specify spatial or temporal setting of the data
    Temporal (time) coverage
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Time Period Temporal coverage for hydrometric stations spans from 1928 to 2006, while land use/vegetation cover maps include the years 1974, 1993 and 2000.
    Spatial (location) coverage
  • Locations
    • Our study focuses on selected catchments draining into the Gulf of California, Mexico (comprising Yaqui, Mayo, Mátape and Cocoraque, as well as smaller coastal catchments); it includes one of the most important agricultural regions in Mexico, the Yaqui Valley (a region that stands out globally for the intensive use of agrochemicals and fertilizer). The selected catchments are adjacent to marine management units identified as high priorities for conservation of marine ecosystems of regional and national significance.
    Data Locations

    Type Location Notes
    Physical Location Room 124, Building DB-019, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia; GD6QF2S\datasets\001_JORGE
    The Data Manager is: Jorge Alvarez Romero
    College or Centre
    Access conditions Conditional: Contact researchdata@jcu.edu.au to request access to this data.
  • Alternative access conditions
  • Data record size Four sub-datasets encompassing spatial and non-spatial data required to develop and integrate models of catchments, land-use change, and river plumes with conservation planning software. The full dataset comprises 255 files, including 212 ESRI Shapefiles, 20 ESRI Rasters Grids, 21 Excel Spreadsheets and 2 PDF documents.
    Citation Alvarez Romero, Jorge (2016): Integrated land-sea planning in the Gulf of California, Mexico. James Cook University. https://doi.org/10.4225/28/56A1C0CDA2408