Theory for designing nature reserves for single species

McCarthy, M. A., Thompson, C. J. and Possingham, H. P. (2005) Theory for designing nature reserves for single species. American Naturalist, 165 2: 250-257. doi:10.1086/427297

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Author McCarthy, M. A.
Thompson, C. J.
Possingham, H. P.
Title Theory for designing nature reserves for single species
Journal name American Naturalist   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-0147
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/427297
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 165
Issue 2
Start page 250
End page 257
Total pages 8
Editor J. Losos
M. C. Whitlock
Place of publication Chicago, IL, United States
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
270708 Conservation and Biodiversity
779903 Living resources (flora and fauna)
Abstract We examine the question of the optimal number of reserves that should be established to maximize the persistence of a species. We assume that the mean time to extinction of a single population increases as a power of the habitat area, that there is a certain amount of habitat to be reserved, and that the aim is to determine how this habitat is most efficiently divided. The optimal configuration depends on whether the management objective is to maximize the mean time to extinction or minimize the risk of extinction. When maximizing the mean time to extinction, the optimal number of independent reserves does not depend on the amount of available habitat for the reserve system. In contrast, the risk of extinction is minimized when individual reserves are equal to the optimal patch size, making the optimal number of reserves linearly proportional to the amount of available habitat. A model that includes dispersal and correlation in the incidence of extinction demonstrates the importance of considering the relative rate at which these two factors decrease with distance between reserves. A small number of reserves is optimal when the mean time to extinction increases rapidly with habitat area or when risks of extinction are high.
Keyword Biodiversity Conservation
Extinction Risk
Reserve Design
Metapopulation Model
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:18:32 EST