Novel methods for designing marine reserves under uncertainty: trading off risk, habitat representation, and socio-economic costs

Tulloch, Vivitskaia J., Possingham, Hugh, Jupiter, Stacy, Roelfsema, Christiaan M., Tulloch, Ayesha and Klein, Carissa (2013). Novel methods for designing marine reserves under uncertainty: trading off risk, habitat representation, and socio-economic costs. In: INTECOL 2013: 11th International Congress of Ecology, ExCel, London, UK, (). 18-23 August, 2013.

Author Tulloch, Vivitskaia J.
Possingham, Hugh
Jupiter, Stacy
Roelfsema, Christiaan M.
Tulloch, Ayesha
Klein, Carissa
Title of paper Novel methods for designing marine reserves under uncertainty: trading off risk, habitat representation, and socio-economic costs
Conference name INTECOL 2013: 11th International Congress of Ecology
Conference location ExCel, London, UK
Conference dates 18-23 August, 2013
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Conservation planners and natural resource managers should consider uncertainty associated with ecological data to make informed and efficient decisions. One of the most pervasive forms of uncertainty in data used to make conservation or management decisions is error associated with mapping of biodiversity features, though is rarely, if ever, accommodated in the planning process. Here, we present a novel systematic conservation prioritization method that accounts for uncertainty inherent in coral reef habitat maps and apply it to the Kubulau District fisheries management area, Fiji. We incorporate accuracy information describing the probability of occurrence of each habitat, derived from remote sensing data, todesign marine reserve networks with a high chance of protecting every habitat type. Comparing the outcomes of our approach to those of standard protected area design approaches, we trade-off important attributes of conservation planning: risk, habitat representation, and socio-economic cost, and present 4 key results. Firstly, including mapping accuracy changes the location of priority conservation areas, with errors of omission and commission likely if mapping accuracy is ignored. Secondly, marine reserve networks with a high chance of protecting all habitats cost more, but are less risky as they are unlikely to miss representation targets. Thirdly, less costly marine protected area networks are possible if we triage low accuracy habitats. Finally, increasing the probability of all habitats meeting national representation targets from 50% to 99% would cost fishers less than an estimated 1% of their total income. This study bridges gaps between research and applied conservation, highlighting the need for uncertainty to be explicitly accounted for in all decisions to maximise the chance of successful conservation outcomes, and reduce the risk of spending limited conservation budgets inefficiently. The approach can be used with any habitat type at any scale to inform more robust and defensible conservation decisions in marine or terrestrial environments.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Authors prepress title: "Novel methods for designing marine protected area under uncertainty: trading off risk, conservation targets, and socio-economic costs".

 
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Created: Mon, 03 Feb 2014, 14:50:23 EST by Claire Lam on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management