A technique, first performed in 1978 by the American ecologist Michael Scott, (1941– ) for identifying ecosystems in need of conservation. Ranges are mapped for a variety of rare or endangered species. The maps are laid one above another and, when all of them are overlaid on a map showing the location of reserves and protected areas, gaps are revealed in which valuable ecosystems remain unprotected. Gap analysis identifies many more ecosystems deserving protection than the alternative hot spot technique.
http://gapanalysis.nbii.gov/portal/community/GAP_Analysis_Program/Communities/GAP_Home/Full Full explanation of gap analysis at the website of the GAP Analysis Program of the US Geological Survey.
Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.