An approach for ensuring minimum protected area size in systematic conservation planning

Smith, Robrt J., Di Minin, Entivo, Linke, Simon, Segan, Daniel B. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2010) An approach for ensuring minimum protected area size in systematic conservation planning. BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 143 11: 2525-2531. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.06.019

Author Smith, Robrt J.
Di Minin, Entivo
Linke, Simon
Segan, Daniel B.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Title An approach for ensuring minimum protected area size in systematic conservation planning
Journal name BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2010-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.06.019
Volume 143
Issue 11
Start page 2525
End page 2531
Total pages 7
Place of publication Essex, England
Publisher Elsevier Publishing
Language eng
Abstract One of the most efficient approaches for designing protected area (PA) networks is to use systematic conservation planning software. A number of software packages are available and all of them include a spatial cost or constraint component in their prioritisation algorithms, which allow the user to determine the level of fragmentation of the final PA system. Many conservation planners want to set minimum PA size thresholds, as small PAs are less viable and more expensive to manage, but this can only be achieved with existing software packages by repeatedly reducing the fragmentation levels of the PA system until every PA meets the threshold. Such an approach is inefficient because it increases the size of every PA, not just the smaller ones. Here we describe MinPatch, a software package developed to overcome this problem by manipulating outputs from the Marxan conservation planning software, so that every PA meets the userdefined size threshold. We then investigate the impacts of this approach with a dataset from the Maputaland Centre of Endemism, and find that using MinPatch to meet the PA thresholds is a much more efficient approach than using Marxan alone. We also show that setting a minimum PA threshold can have important effects on where new PAs are located when compared with Marxan outputs. Based on these results, we recommend that conservation planners use MinPatch whenever they want each PA in a network to meet a minimum size threshold. c2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Protected areas
Systematic conservation planning
Reserve Networks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Received 14 April 2010; revised 16 June 2010; accepted 21 June 2010. Available online 20 July 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 14 Nov 2010, 10:03:54 EST