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Does conservation planning matter in a changing and uncertain world?
ANDELMAN, SANDY*,1, MEIR, ELI*,1, 1 NCEAS, Santa Barbara, CA
ABSTRACT- Conservation planning typically is treated as a static problem in that potential reserve system scenarios or conservation priorities are set based on a snapshot in time of the distribution and abundance of biodiversity measures. However, implementation of conservation plans is seldom immediate, and may require years or even decades. In the interim, some biodiversity will be lost as a result of anthropogenic activities, there may be turnover, and opportunities for conservation at particular sites may be unpredictable. We developed a dynamic modeling framework to evaluate alternative strategies for prioritizing conservation investments in the context of ecological change and uncertain opportunities. We found that unless large-scale plans can be implemented within just a few years, using simple iterative decision rules to allocate investments in response to conservation opportunities is a more effective conservation strategy. We used the model to create a framework for evaluating trade-offs between investing in comprehensive plans vs. using decision rules.
KEY WORDS: biodiversity, conservation plan, dynamic model, uncertainty