Effectiveness of alternative heuristic algorithms for identifying indicative minimum requirements for conservation reserves

Effectiveness of alternative heuristic algorithms for identifying indicative minimum requirements... We compared the results of 30 heuristic reserve selection algorithms on the same large data set. Twelve of the algorithms were for presence-absence representation goals, designed to find a set of sites to represent all the land types in the study region at least once. Eighteen algorithms were intended to represent a minimum percentage of the total area of each land type. We varied the rules of the algorithms systematically to find the influence of individual rules or sequences of rules on efficiency of representation. Rankings of the algorithms according to relative numbers or areas of selected sites needed to achieve a specified representation target varied between the full data set and a subset and so appear to be data-dependent. We also ran optimizing algorithms to indicate the degree of suboptimality of the heuristics. For the presence-absence problems, the optimizing algorithms had the advantage of guaranteeing an optimal solution but had much longer running times than the heuristics. They showed that the solutions from good heuristics were 5–10% larger than optimal. The optimizing algorithms failed to solve the proportional area problems, although heuristics solved them quickly. Both heuristics and optimizing algorithms have important roles to play in conservation planning. The choice of method will depend on the size of data sets, the representation goal, the required time for analysis, and the importance of a guaranteed optimal solution. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Effectiveness of alternative heuristic algorithms for identifying indicative minimum requirements for conservation reserves

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Abstract

We compared the results of 30 heuristic reserve selection algorithms on the same large data set. Twelve of the algorithms were for presence-absence representation goals, designed to find a set of sites to represent all the land types in the study region at least once. Eighteen algorithms were intended to represent a minimum percentage of the total area of each land type. We varied the rules of the algorithms systematically to find the influence of individual rules or sequences of rules on efficiency of representation. Rankings of the algorithms according to relative numbers or areas of selected sites needed to achieve a specified representation target varied between the full data set and a subset and so appear to be data-dependent. We also ran optimizing algorithms to indicate the degree of suboptimality of the heuristics. For the presence-absence problems, the optimizing algorithms had the advantage of guaranteeing an optimal solution but had much longer running times than the heuristics. They showed that the solutions from good heuristics were 5–10% larger than optimal. The optimizing algorithms failed to solve the proportional area problems, although heuristics solved them quickly. Both heuristics and optimizing algorithms have important roles to play in conservation planning. The choice of method will depend on the size of data sets, the representation goal, the required time for analysis, and the importance of a guaranteed optimal solution.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: May 1, 1997

References

  • Reserve selection as a maximal covering location problem
    Church, R.L.; Stoms, D.M.; Davis, F.W.
  • Threatened status, rarity and diversity as alternative selection measures for protected areas: a test using Afrotropical antelopes
    Kershaw, M.; Mace, G.M.; Williams, P.H.
  • A comparison of direct and environmental domain approaches to planning reservation of forest higher plant communities and species in Tasmania
    Kirkpatrick, J.B.; Brown, M.J.
  • Where should nature reserves be located in South Africa? A snake's perspective
    Lombard, A.T.; Nicholls, A.O.; August, P.V.
  • Reserve coverage and requirements in relation to partitioning and generalization of land classes: analyses for western New South Wales
    Pressey, R.L.; Logan, V.S.
  • Optimality in reserve selection algorithms: when does it matter and how much?
    Pressey, R.L.; Possingham, H.P.; Margules, C.R.

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