Optimal conservation outcomes require both restoration and protection

Possingham, Hugh P., Bode, Michael and Klein, Carissa J. (2015) Optimal conservation outcomes require both restoration and protection. PLoS Biology, 13 1: 1-15. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002052

Author Possingham, Hugh P.
Bode, Michael
Klein, Carissa J.
Title Optimal conservation outcomes require both restoration and protection
Journal name PLoS Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-7885
Publication date 2015-01-27
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002052
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 2800 Neuroscience
2400 Immunology and Microbiology
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Conservation outcomes are principally achieved through the protection of intact habitat or the restoration of degraded habitat. Restoration is generally considered a lower priority action than protection because protection is thought to provide superior outcomes, at lower costs, without the time delay required for restoration. Yet while it is broadly accepted that protected intact habitat safeguards more biodiversity and generates greater ecosystem services per unit area than restored habitat, conservation lacks a theory that can coherently compare the relative outcomes of the two actions. We use a dynamic landscape model to integrate these two actions into a unified conservation theory of protection and restoration. Using nonlinear benefit functions, we show that both actions are crucial components of a conservation strategy that seeks to optimise either biodiversity conservation or ecosystem services provision. In contrast to conservation orthodoxy, in some circumstances, restoration should be strongly preferred to protection. The relative priority of protection and restoration depends on their costs and also on the different time lags that are inherent to both protection and restoration. We derive a simple and easy-to-interpret heuristic that integrates these factors into a single equation that applies equally to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service objectives. We use two examples to illustrate the theory: bird conservation in tropical rainforests and coastal defence provided by mangrove forests.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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