Optimal restoration: Accounting for space, time and uncertainty

Wilson, Kerrie A., Lulow, Megan, Burger, Jutta, Fang, Yi-Chin, Andersen, Caitlin, Olson, David, O'Connell, Michael and McBride, Marissa F. (2011) Optimal restoration: Accounting for space, time and uncertainty. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48 3: 715-725. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.01975.x

Author Wilson, Kerrie A.
Lulow, Megan
Burger, Jutta
Fang, Yi-Chin
Andersen, Caitlin
Olson, David
O'Connell, Michael
McBride, Marissa F.
Title Optimal restoration: Accounting for space, time and uncertainty
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8901
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.01975.x
Volume 48
Issue 3
Start page 715
End page 725
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. In general, conservation seeks to prevent further habitat loss but in many cases there is a need to reverse habitat degradation. Restoration of habitat is necessary to achieve biodiversity conservation goals but often it is a costly and time-intensive process. Prioritization of where and when habitat is restored can help to ensure the cost-effective delivery of desired outcomes.

2. We develop a restoration prioritization decision support tool to identify the combination of restoration sites and the schedule for their implementation most likely to deliver the greatest utility for a fixed budget and operational constraints. We use a case study to apply our prioritization approach in order to illustrate the data that can be employed to parameterise the analysis and the outputs that are able to inform restoration planning. We compare restoration schedules under alternative utility functions to demonstrate trade-offs associated with different objectives, assumptions and preferences for particular outcomes.

3. Our prioritization approach is spatially and temporally explicit and accounts for the costs and benefits of restoration, the likelihood of restoration success, the probability of stochastic events, feedbacks, time lags and spatial connectivity.

4. Through collaboration with restoration practitioners we derive quantitative and spatially explicit data on each site requiring restoration. We determine the relative priority for restoring each site and develop a restoration schedule over 20 years.

5. Our results showed that after 20 years a little over a half of the sites requiring restoration are likely be successfully restored, while the total expenditure at our site will be c. US$13·7 million – almost the entire budget of $14 million.

6. Synthesis and applications. Our restoration prioritization approach provides a schedule for where and when restoration should occur, and also provides operational guidance and support for cost-effective restoration planning such as informing the likely total cost of restoration.
Keyword California
Ecological restoration
Likelihood of success
Mediterranean ecosystems
Coastal sage scrub
Landscape reconstruction.
Conservation priorities
Ecological restoration
Habitat fragmentation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 40 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 42 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 02 Sep 2011, 11:17:54 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences