In the identification of reserve networks in fragmented landscapes with limited species-specific data at hand, one approach is to use selection criteria, such as patch size, to rank the habitat patches' conservation value and evaluate reserve-network alternatives. These criteria are assumed to be reasonable surrogates for the true network objectives. Caution is warranted, however, because the relationships between the selection criteria and the reserve-network objectives may be inconsistent. Conflicts are also likely to arise because no single reserve network will be optimal with respect to multiple objectives (or selection criteria) simultaneously. Instead, reserve planners must compromise between conflicting demands. We field tested the relationships between a variety of selection criteria and the objectives of a reserve network for the sandplain natural communities on Martha's Vineyard Island, Massachusetts (U.S.A.). Selection criteria that correlated with the reserve-network objectives were used in a multi-objective integer program to identify the 10-patch reserve networks that were optimal with each objective independently and those that offered optimal tradeoffs between the reserve-network objectives. From these 10-patch networks, one can select a final reserve network that provides the preferred compromise between the objectives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation