Mathematical Methods for Spatially Cohesive Reserve Design
- Cite this article as:
- McDonnell, M.D., Possingham, H.P., Ball, I.R. et al. Environmental Modeling & Assessment (2002) 7: 107. doi:10.1023/A:1015649716111
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The problem of designing spatially cohesive nature reserve systems that meet biodiversity objectives is formulated as a nonlinear integer programming problem. The multiobjective function minimises a combination of boundary length, area and failed representation of the biological attributes we are trying to conserve. The task is to reserve a subset of sites that best meet this objective. We use data on the distribution of habitats in the Northern Territory, Australia, to show how simulated annealing and a greedy heuristic algorithm can be used to generate good solutions to such large reserve design problems, and to compare the effectiveness of these methods.