Habitat destruction has driven much of the current biodiversity extinction crisis, and it compromises the essential benefits, or ecosystem services, that humans derive from functioning ecosystems. Securing both species and ecosystem services might be accomplished with common solutions. Yet it is unknown whether these two major conservation objectives coincide broadly enough worldwide to enable global strategies for both goals to gain synergy. In this article, we assess the concordance between these two objectives, explore how the concordance varies across different regions, and examine the global potential for safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem services simultaneously. We find that published global priority maps for biodiversity conservation harbor a disproportionate share of estimated terrestrial ecosystem service value (ESV). Overlap of biodiversity priorities and ESV varies among regions, and in areas that have high biodiversity priority but low ESV, specialized conservation approaches are necessary. Overall, however, our findings suggest opportunities for safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sensitivity analyses indicate that results are robust to known limitations of available ESV data. Capitalizing on these opportunities will require the identification of synergies at fine scales, and the development of economic and policy tools to exploit them.
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Vol. 57 • No. 10