Models for preserving species diversity with backup coverage
Source: Environmental Modeling and Assessment, Volume 10, Number 2, June 2005 , pp. 99-105(7)
Abstract:The problem of selecting land for preservation of species has been a rich and active area of research over the past two decades. Typically, reserve selection models have tried to maximize species diversity by preserving areas that contain the greatest number of species. However, several studies have shown that seldom do these species-rich areas contain the rarest species most in need of protection. Most reserve selection models seek to maximize diversity by choosing parcels so that all species are covered by or represented in at least one parcel. This approach would usually be expected to result in coverage by a single parcel for the rarest species, especially for those that do not coincide with more abundant species. It is precisely these rare species, however, that would be lost or whose survivability would be most challenged, if the single parcels in which they are represented became unavailable due to some unforeseen event. In this paper, we introduce to reserve selection models the concept of secondary, or backup, coverage of species. Briefly stated, a species is said to have backup representation in the system of reserves if it is covered by, or represented in, two or more parcels. Having backup coverage guarantees that every species is still covered in the event that a natural or man-made catastrophe makes a given parcel uninhabitable. The results show that backup coverage can be obtained at little additional cost (as expressed by the number of parcels selected). Bi-objective formulations that trade-off primary with backup coverage show that backup coverage can be guaranteed for larger numbers of species with little reduction in primary coverage.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Operations Research Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19717, USA, 2: Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA,
Publication date: June 1, 2005