PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 41-51.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.01.005

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

GAP Analysis: A Geographic Approach to Protect Biological Diversity

LIU Jiping1,2, LV Xianguo1, YIN Shubai1   

  1. 1. Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS, Changchun 130012, China;
    2. College of Geography and Tourism, Jilin Normal University, Siping 136000, China
  • Received:2004-07-01 Revised:2004-10-01 Online:2005-01-25 Published:2005-01-25


The term “GAP analysis” was first used by Burley in 1988 and put into practical application in Scott’s famous Hawaii project that identified the “gap” between bird distributions and conservation areas. GAP Analysis(a Geographic Approach to Protect Biological Diversity)provides a quick overview of the distribution and conservation status of several components of biodiversity. It focuses on higher levels of biological organization and conserves habitat and single species. GAP analysis is proved to be one of the good methods for conserving biodiversity on large scale. It focuses on terrestrial craniota and lacks a focus on aquatic biodiversity and other phylums in present. The research on biodiversity process is insufficient. This article analyzes the advantage, disadvantage and development trend of GAP analysis on the base of its definition and advancement. At last the research direction of GAP analysis in China is discussed. Because China doesn’t begin GAP plan, GAP analysis should focus on representative regions of biodiversity or some endangered and rare species at present, and then put the technology and methods into other regions and common species in future.

Key words: biodiversity conservation, GAP analysis, geographic approach