Managing networked landscapes: conservation in a fragmented, regionally connected world

  • Jacopo A. BaggioEmail author
  • Michael L. Schoon
  • Sechindra Valury
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sustainability of social-ecological systems


Ecological fragmentation coupled with changes in climate affects the viability of species and is likely to pose a serious threat for maintaining biodiversity, especially as biodiversity often depends on species ability to migrate between different ecological areas spanning multiple sociopolitical jurisdictions. To reduce the risk to biodiversity, there is a need for connected, interjurisdictional landscape management plans at regional levels. It is a key to identify how decision-makers collaborate and share knowledge, learn, and ultimately make decisions affecting species coexistence. Here, we present a model that mimics multiple political jurisdictions making decisions affecting species migration across a landscape. This management and species movement can be between nations, between public and private landowners, or any other scale of interjurisdictional management in between. The model we present here has direct application to the decisions that managers make regularly and draws upon anecdotal evidence from real-world case studies such as the removal of fences in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in southern Africa, and cooperation to solve regional environmental dilemmas in Arizona between neighbors. Our results highlight the importance of social learning and networks and matching the scale of sociopolitical and ecological processes in order to reduce biodiversity loss. Further, we find that close-knit decision-makers, especially when learning/imitating management strategies the same way, are detrimental to countering biodiversity loss. Finally, our results indicate the importance of allowing decision-makers to have room for experimental, individual learning to broaden the set of management strategies existing within a system to reduce biodiversity loss.


Agent-based modelling Multiplex networks Social-ecological networks Biodiversity Conservation Natural resource management 


Supplementary material

10113_2019_1567_MOESM1_ESM.docx (206 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 206 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics, Security, and International AffairsUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Sustainable Coastal Systems Cluster, National Center for Integrated Coastal ResearchUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.School of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.Center for Behavior, Institutions and the EnvironmentArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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