Accounting for continuous species' responses to management effort enhances cost-effectiveness of conservation decisions

Cattarino, Lorenzo, Hermoso, Virgilio, Bradford, Lindsay W., Carwardine, Josie, Wilson, Kerrie A., Kennard, Mark J. and Linke, Simon (2016) Accounting for continuous species' responses to management effort enhances cost-effectiveness of conservation decisions. Biological Conservation, 197 116-123. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.02.030


Author Cattarino, Lorenzo
Hermoso, Virgilio
Bradford, Lindsay W.
Carwardine, Josie
Wilson, Kerrie A.
Kennard, Mark J.
Linke, Simon
Title Accounting for continuous species' responses to management effort enhances cost-effectiveness of conservation decisions
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
1873-2917
Publication date 2016-05-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.02.030
Volume 197
Start page 116
End page 123
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Subject 1105 Dentistry
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Formatted abstract
Limited resources available for conservation require prioritizing location and level of conservation management efforts to abate threats to species. Ideally, the optimal level of management effort to allocate to an action should be informed by the species' responses to actions. This would enhance cost-effectiveness of conservation recommendations. How continuous species' responses to varying levels of management effort (‘species response curves’) affect the cost of abating threats to species is poorly understood, but critical for cost-effective threat management.

We developed an optimization approach to prioritize management efforts based on varying species' response curves. We tested our framework in the Mitchell River catchment, northern Australia, to find the optimal level of effort to allocate to restoration of river connectivity and riparian revegetation to improve persistence of freshwater fish species. We compared the results of our analysis against a traditional approach, which assumes that (1) an action is either fully implemented or not; and (2) when the action is fully implemented the species persists; when the action is not implemented, the species goes locally extinct.

We showed that by using species response curves we can abate threats to species at budgets up to 20% lower than when applying the traditional approach. Our approach can aid identifying how much effort (i.e., area managed, timeframe of management or budget invested) to allocate to multiple actions, and where, to cost-effectively abate threats to species. This has the potential to significantly improve biodiversity outcomes when resources are limited, by improving precision of on-ground conservation decisions.
Keyword Australia
Ecological responses
Freshwater
Multi-action planning
Priority threat management
Spatial conservation prioritization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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