Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 245–258 | Cite as

Conservation planning with irreplaceability: does the method matter?

  • J. Carwardine
  • W. A. Rochester
  • K. S. Richardson
  • K. J. Williams
  • R. L. Pressey
  • H. P. Possingham
Original Paper

Abstract

A number of systematic conservation planning tools are available to aid in making land use decisions. Given the increasing worldwide use and application of reserve design tools, including measures of site irreplaceability, it is essential that methodological differences and their potential effect on conservation planning outcomes are understood. We compared the irreplaceability of sites for protecting ecosystems within the Brigalow Belt Bioregion, Queensland, Australia, using two alternative reserve system design tools, Marxan and C-Plan. We set Marxan to generate multiple reserve systems that met targets with minimal area; the first scenario ignored spatial objectives, while the second selected compact groups of areas. Marxan calculates the irreplaceability of each site as the proportion of solutions in which it occurs for each of these set scenarios. In contrast, C-Plan uses a statistical estimate of irreplaceability as the likelihood that each site is needed in all combinations of sites that satisfy the targets. We found that sites containing rare ecosystems are almost always irreplaceable regardless of the method. Importantly, Marxan and C-Plan gave similar outcomes when spatial objectives were ignored. Marxan with a compactness objective defined twice as much area as irreplaceable, including many sites with relatively common ecosystems. However, targets for all ecosystems were met using a similar amount of area in C-Plan and Marxan, even with compactness. The importance of differences in the outcomes of using the two methods will depend on the question being addressed; in general, the use of two or more complementary tools is beneficial.

Keywords

Biodiversity Conservation Planning C-Plan Irreplaceability Marxan Reserve compactness 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Araujo MB, Williams PH, Fuller RJ (2002) Dynamics of extinction and the selection of nature reserves. Proc Roy Soc London B 269:1971–1980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball IR, Possingham HP (2000) Marxan version 1.8.3. http://www.ecology.uq.edu.au/marxan.htm#1
  3. Ball IR, Possingham HP (2002) The design of marine protected areas: adapting terrestrial techniques. In: Modsim, Canberra, pp 769–774Google Scholar
  4. Cowling RM, Pressey RL, Rouget M, Lombard AT (2003) A conservation plan for a global biodiversity hotspot – the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Biol Conserv 112:191–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Csuti B, Polasky S, Williams PH, Pressey RL, Camm JD, Kershaw M, Kiester AR, Downs B, Hamilton R (1997) A comparison of reserve selection algorithms using data on terrestrial vertebrates in Oregon. Biol Conserv 80:83–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency, Queensland) (2001) Vegetation Communities and Regional Ecosystems: Vegetation Management Act Release June 2001, Version 3.0. Queensland Herbarium, Environmental Protection Agency, BrisbaneGoogle Scholar
  7. Faith DP, Walker PA (1996) Integrating conservation and development: effective trade-offs between biodiversity and cost in the selection of protected areas. Biol Conserv 5(4):431–446Google Scholar
  8. Ferdana Z (2002) Approaches to integrating a marine GIS into The Nature Conservancy’s ecoregional planning process. In: Breman J (eds) Marine geography: GIS for oceans and seas. ESRI, Redlands WA, pp 151–158Google Scholar
  9. Ferrier S, Pressey RL, Barret TW (2000) A new predictor of the irreplaceability of areas for achieving conservation goals, its application to real-world planning, and a research agenda for further refinement. Biol Conserv 93:303–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Finkel E (1998) Ecology: software helps Australia manage forest debate. Science 281:1789–1791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) Representative Areas in the Marine Park. http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/corp_site/key_issues/conservation/rep_areas/? rep_areas_overview.html
  12. Kelley C, Garson J, Aggarwal A, Sarkar S (2002) Place prioritization for biodiversity reserve network design: a comparison of the SITES and ResNet software packages for coverage and efficiency. Divers Distributions 8(5):297–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kirpatrick JB, Brown MJ (1994) A comparison of direct and environmental domain approaches to planning reservation of forest higher plant communities and species in Tasmania. Conserv Biol 8:217–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kirkpatrick S, Gellat CD, Vecchi MP (1983) Optimisation by simulated annealing. Science 220:671–680CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Lombard AT, Cowling RM, Pressey RL, Mustart PJ (1997) Reserve selection in a species-rich and fragmented landscape on the Agulhas Plain, South Africa. Conserv Biol 11(5):1101–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Margules CR, Nicholls AO, Pressey RL (1988) Selecting networks of reserves to maximize biological diversity. Biol Conserv 43(1):63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McDonnell MD, Possingham HP, Ball IR, Cousins EA (2002) Mathematical methods for spatially cohesive reserve design. Environ Model Assess 7:107–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (1999) The Conservation Planning System (C-Plan) version 3.11. http://www.members.ozemail.com.au/∼cplan/
  19. Nicholls AO, Margules CR (1993) An upgraded reserve selection algorithm. Biol Conserv 64:165–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Onal H, Briers RA (2002) Incorporating spatial criteria in optimum reserve network selection. Proc Roy Soc London B 269:2437–2441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Possingham HP, Ball IR, Andelman S (2000) Mathematical methods for identifying representative reserve networks. In: Ferson S, Burgman M (eds) Quantitative methods for conservation biology. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp 291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Prendegast JR, Quinn, RM, Lawton JH, Eversham BC, Gibbons DW (1993) Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies. Nature 365:335–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pressey RL (1998) Algorithms, politics and timber: an example of the role of science in a public, political negotiation process over new conservation areas in production forests. In: Wallis RT, Hobbs J (eds) Ecology for everyone: communicating ecology to scientists, the public and the politicians, Chapter 16, Surrey Beaty and Sons, pp 75–87Google Scholar
  24. Pressey RL, Johnson IR, Wilson PD (1994) Shades of irreplaceability: towards a measure of the contribution of sites to a reservation goal. Biol Conserv 3:242–262Google Scholar
  25. Pressey RL, Possingham HP, Logan VS, Day JR, Williams PH (1999) Effects of data characteristics on the results of reserve selection algorithms. J Biogeogr 26:179–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pressey RL,Taffs KH (2001) Sampling of land types by protected areas: three measures of effectiveness applied to western New South Wales. Biol Conserv 101:105–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pressey RL, Tully SL (1994) The cost of ad hoc reservation: a case study in western New South Wales. Aust J Ecol 19:375–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pressey RL, Watts ME, Barrett TW (2004) Is maximizing protection the same as minimizing loss? Efficiency and retention as alternative measures of the effectiveness of proposed reserves. Ecol Lett 7:1035–1046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richardson KS, Funk VA (1999) An approach to designing a systematic protected area system in Guyana. Parks 9(1):7–16Google Scholar
  30. Rodrigues ASL, Tratt R, Wheeler BD, Gaston KJ (1999) The performance of existing networks of conservation areas in representing biodiversity. Proc Roy Soc London B 267:1453–1460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rodrigues ASL, Akçakaya HR, Andelman SJ, Bakarr MI, Boitani L, Brooks TM, Fishpool LDC, da Fonseca GAB, Gaston KJ, Hoffmann M, Long J, Marquet PA, Pilgrim JD, Pressey RL, Schipper J, Sechrest W, Stuart SN, Underhill LG, Waller RW, Watts MEJ, Yan X (2004) Global gap analysis: priorities for expanding the global protected area network. BioScience 54:1092–1100Google Scholar
  32. Sattler PS, Williams RD (eds) (1999) The Conservation Status of Queensland’s Bioregional Ecosystems. Environmental Protection Agency, BrisbaneGoogle Scholar
  33. Stewart RR, Noyce T, Possingham HP (2003) Opportunity cost of ad hoc marine reserve design decisions – an example from South Australia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 253:25–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Soule ME (1986) Conservation biology. Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts, USAGoogle Scholar
  35. Vane-wright RI, Humphries CJ, Williams PH (1991) What to protect – systematics and the agony of choice. Biol Conserv 55:235–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Virolainen KM, Virola T, Suhonen J, Kuitunen M, Lammi A, Siikamaki P (1999) Selecting networks of nature reserves: methods do affect the long-term outcome. Proc Roy Soc London B 266:1141–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Warman LD, Sinclair ARE, Scudder GGE, Klinkenberg B, Pressey RL (2004) Sensitivity of systematic reserve selection to decisions about scale, biological data, and targets: case study from Southern British Columbia. Conserv Biol 18:655–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wessels KJ, Freitag S, van Jaarsveld AS (1999) The use of land facets as biodiversity surrogates during reserve selection at a local scale. Biol Conserv 89:21–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Carwardine
    • 1
  • W. A. Rochester
    • 2
  • K. S. Richardson
    • 3
  • K. J. Williams
    • 4
  • R. L. Pressey
    • 1
  • H. P. Possingham
    • 5
  1. 1.The Ecology Centre, School of Integrative BiologyThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Marine ResearchClevelandAustralia
  3. 3.Department of GeographyMcGill University805 Sherbrooke St. WCanada
  4. 4.CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Level 3, Queensland Bioscience PrecinctSt LuciaAustralia
  5. 5.The Ecology Centre, School of Integrative Biology and Department of MathematicsThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

Personalised recommendations