Should metapopulation restoration strategies increase patch area or number of patches?

Nicol, Samuel C. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2010) Should metapopulation restoration strategies increase patch area or number of patches?. Ecological Applications, 20 2: 566-581. doi:10.1890/08-2216.1

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Author Nicol, Samuel C.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title Should metapopulation restoration strategies increase patch area or number of patches?
Journal name Ecological Applications   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-0761
Publication date 2010-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/08-2216.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 20
Issue 2
Start page 566
End page 581
Total pages 16
Place of publication Tempe, Ariz., United States of America
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Language eng
Abstract Managers of species that exist as metapopulations are faced with many decisions. In this paper we use a decision-theory framework to examine a fundamental management question: Should we focus on decreasing the local extinction probability of subpopulations by increasing the size of their patch, or should metapopulation viability be improved by constructing more patches? Using a spatially implicit stochastic metapopulation model and stochastic dynamic programming (SDP), we found the optimal solution to this problem for both the finite- and infinite-time horizon cases. We showed that the SDP solutions outperform a range of heuristic management strategies. The optimal strategy for a given parameter set depends heavily on metapopulation parameters, and it is difficult to make generalizations about the optimal restoration strategy a priori. Although heuristic strategies perform well in some cases, it is not possible to judge their performance until the SDP solution has been computed, and for this reason we advocate the use of SDP as a management tool in restoration. We demonstrate the use of SDP by deriving an optimal management strategy for a population of the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus intermedius).
Keyword Conservation
Decision Theory
Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren
Optimal management
Patch dynamics
Stipiturus malachurus intermedius
Stochastic dynamic programming
Optimal Translocation Strategies
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Manuscript received 2 December 2008; revised 2 June 2009; accepted 5 June 2009.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2011 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 18 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 02 May 2010, 10:07:43 EST