A new method for conservation planning for the persistence of multiple species

Nicholson, Emily, Westphal, Michael I., Frank, Karin, Rochester, Wayne A., Pressey, Robert L., Lindenmayer, David B., and Possingham, Hugh P. (2006) A new method for conservation planning for the persistence of multiple species. Ecology Letters, 9 (9). pp. 1049-1060.

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Although the aim of conservation planning is the persistence of biodiversity, current methods trade-off ecological realism at a species level in favour of including multiple species and landscape features. For conservation planning to be relevant, the impact of landscape configuration on population processes and the viability of species needs to be considered. We present a novel method for selecting reserve systems that maximize persistence across multiple species, subject to a conservation budget. We use a spatially explicit metapopulation model to estimate extinction risk, a function of the ecology of the species and the amount, quality and configuration of habitat. We compare our new method with more traditional, area-based reserve selection methods, using a ten-species case study, and find that the expected loss of species is reduced 20-fold. Unlike previous methods, we avoid designating arbitrary weightings between reserve size and configuration; rather, our method is based on population processes and is grounded in ecological theory.

Item ID: 10258
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: conservation planning; metapopulation; multiple species conservation; optimization; reserve design; simulated annealing; site selection
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Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2010 04:57
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection @ 100%
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