Designing nature reserves in the face of uncertainty

McCarthy, Michael A., Thompson, Colin J., Moore, Alana L. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2011) Designing nature reserves in the face of uncertainty. Ecology Letters, 14 5: 470-475. doi:10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01608.x

Author McCarthy, Michael A.
Thompson, Colin J.
Moore, Alana L.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Designing nature reserves in the face of uncertainty
Journal name Ecology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1461-023X
Publication date 2011-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01608.x
Volume 14
Issue 5
Start page 470
End page 475
Total pages 6
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Conservation reserves are a fundamental tool for managing biodiversity. The so-called SLOSS debate - should we have a Single Large Or Several Small reserves - is central to conservation theory. Population dynamic models suggest that the design that minimizes the risk of extinction of a species is case-specific, with the optimal number of reserves ranging between one and very many. Uncertainty is pervasive in ecology, but, the previous analyses of the SLOSS debate have not considered how uncertainty in the model of extinction risk might influence the optimal design. Herein, we show that when uncertainty is considered, the SLOSS problem is simplified and driven more by the aspirations of the manager than the population dynamics of the species. In this case, the optimal solution is to have in the order of twenty or fewer reserves for any species. This result shows counter-intuitively that considering uncertainty actually simplifies rather than complicates decisions about designing nature reserves.
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
School of Physical Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 02 Sep 2011, 17:07:45 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences