Joining the dots versus growing the blobs: Evaluating spatial targeting strategies for ecological restoration

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Abstract

The primary causes of biodiversity decline worldwide are the destruction, alteration, and fragmentation of habitat resulting from human economic activities such as agriculture or property development. In regions with highly cleared and fragmented landscapes, biodiversity conservation efforts typically involve the restoration of native habitat and rebuilding functioning ecosystems. When ecological restoration depends on voluntary landowner participation, spatial targeting can improve biodiversity outcomes. We use simulation to compare the performance of several spatial-targeting strategies for ecological restoration: Aggregation, Connectivity, and Representativeness. We model the probability of landowners' participation in restoration depending on the private benefits they derive from the restored landscape. The relative effectiveness of each targeting strategy depends on landscape characteristics, species characteristics, and restoration effort. At low levels of the restoration effort and in highly cleared landscapes, Aggregation and Representativeness perform better. With greater restoration effort and less fragmented landscapes, Connectivity becomes more effective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107671
Number of pages11
JournalEcological Economics
Volume204
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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