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Designing Compact and Contiguous Reserve Networks with a Hybrid Heuristic Algorithm

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Conflicting opinions from environmental advocates and economic interests on the best strategy for management of public lands often leaves land managers in a difficult position. Since ecosystem sustainability is in the long-term interest of each group, the establishment of nature reserves could simultaneously address both views. To promote sustainability, fragmentation of existing natural habitats should be avoided, since it is commonly recognized as being disruptive to the species adapted to these habitats. Therefore, when designing an efficient nature reserve, the compactness and contiguity of the land reserved is an essential consideration. A new formulation of the reserve selection problem is presented that explicitly addresses these issues; specifically, the model minimizes a weighted combination of compactness and contiguity measures subject to constraints on the minimal representation of each habitat class.

Motivated by the ongoing reserve efforts in the large and diverse Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California, common heuristic search techniques are implemented and results compared on various simulated test problems. From these findings a new heuristic is developed that reduces solution time and increases solution quality. When applied to the Klamath-Siskiyou region, results are promising. FOR. SCI. 48(1):59–68.

Keywords: Nature reserve problem; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; heuristics; natural resource management; natural resources; quadratic 0-1 programming

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Research Assistant Professor Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, 89557, Phone: (775)784-6701; Fax: (775)784-1342 2: Professor Department of Statistics, Oregon State University, 44 Kidder Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331-4606, Phone: (541) 737-2429 3: Professor Department of Forest Engineering, Oregon State University, 213 Peavy Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331-5706, Phone: (541) 737-4952

Publication date: February 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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