Conservation planning tools are being widely applied to design the reserve networks of the XXI century. However, there are several uncertainties regarding the application of these systematic tools. In my study I compared the representativeness and efficiency of the current reserve network and a government proposed reserve network with randomly and systematically assigned networks for Chile. Then I assessed the effect of conservation features and associated target choices, the effect of cost surface and how they interact with planning unit size and extent of analysis determining the resultant reserve networks. The actual governmental plan of priority sites, while increasing representativeness in general, is still highly inefficient in achieving explicit conservation targets. A small number of conservation features, specifically rare elements, largely determined the total cost and spatial distribution of the reserve network generated with systematic protocols. Cost surface had an important effect upon reserve configurations. Moreover, the importance of cost and target choices interacted with planning unit size and extent of analysis. The results of this study suggest that sensitivity analysis should be explicitly incorporated in systematic conservation planning to assess the effect of several interacting factors, a requirement to design robust reserve networks.
|Advisor:||Leopold, Donald J.|
|Commitee:||Gibbs, James P., Kroll, Charles N., Lomolino, Mark V., Marquet, Pablo A.|
|School:||State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry|
|Department:||Environmental & Forest Biology|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Chile, Complementarity, Conservation, Irreplaceability, Reserve selection, Sensitivity analysis, Spatial scale, Systematic conservation planning|
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