1 Tahrcountry Musings: A model that can be used to design a reserve system for multiple species

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A model that can be used to design a reserve system for multiple species

Optimal design of compact and connected nature reserves for multiple species
Yicheng Wang and Hayri ├ľnal
Conservation Biology, Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 413–424, April 2016

The existing optimal reserve design literature considers either one spatial attribute or when multiple attributes are considered the analysis is confined to only to one species. Here the researchers built a linear integer programing model that incorporates compactness and connectivity of the landscape reserved for multiple species. The model identifies multiple reserves. Each reserve serves a subset of target species with a specified coverage probability threshold to ensure the species' long-term survival in the reserve. Each target species is covered (protected) with another probability threshold at the reserve system level.
The researchers modeled compactness by minimizing the total distance between selected sites and central sites, and they modeled connectivity of a selected site to its designated central site by selecting at least one of its adjacent sites that has a nearer distance to the central site. They plumbed for structural distance and functional distances that incorporated site quality between sites. 
The researchers sign off saying “The model can be used to design a reserve system for multiple species, especially species whose habitats are far apart in which case multiple disjunct but compact and connected reserves are advantageous. The model can be modified to increase or decrease the distance between reserves to reduce or promote population connectivity.”

Yicheng Wang is from College of Resources and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, Chengyang District, Qingdao, China, and Hayri ├ľnal is from Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL, U.S.A

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