Conservation planning with dynamic threats: the role of spatial design and priority setting for species' persistence

Visconti, Piero, Pressey, Robert L., Segan, Daniel B., and Wintle, Brendan A. (2010) Conservation planning with dynamic threats: the role of spatial design and priority setting for species' persistence. Biological Conservation, 143 (3). pp. 756-767.

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Conservation actions frequently need to be scheduled because both funding and implementation capacity are limited. Two approaches to scheduling are possible. Maximizing gain (MaxGain) which attempts to maximize representation with protected areas, or minimizing loss (MinLoss) which attempts to minimize total loss both inside and outside protected areas. Conservation planners also choose between setting priorities based solely on biodiversity pattern and considering surrogates for biodiversity processes such as connectivity. We address both biodiversity processes and habitat loss in a scheduling framework by comparing four different prioritization strategies defined by MaxGain and MinLoss applied to biodiversity patterns and processes to solve the dynamic area selection problem with variable area cost. We compared each strategy by estimating predicted species’ occurrences within a landscape after 20 years of incremental reservation and loss of habitat. By incorporating species-specific responses to fragmentation, we found that you could improve the performance of conservation strategies. MinLoss was the best approach for conserving both biodiversity pattern and process. However, due to the spatial autocorrelation of habitat loss, reserves selected with this approach tended to become more isolated through time; losing up to 40% of occurrences of edge-sensitive species. Additionally, because of the positive correlation between threats and land cost, reserve networks designed with this approach contained smaller and fewer reserves compared with networks designed with a MaxGain approach. We suggest a possible way to account for the negative effect of fragmentation by considering both local and neighbourhood vulnerability to habitat loss.

Item ID: 15611
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: biodiversity processes; connectivity; cost; habitat loss; habitat fragmentation; reserve design; scheduling
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2011 05:28
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961305 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland @ 50%
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