Regional integration of biodiversity conservation and forestry production requires land-use allocations based on trade-offs that attempt to maximise long-term net benefits to society. In this context, effective surrogate information for biodiversity must be used in order estimate the complementarity value of each area—its unique contribution to biodiversity, given other already-protected areas. Net benefits will be maximised only when the complementarity value for each protected area exceeds its weighted cost or suitability for an alternative land use. This study explored this issue using one particular surrogacy approach, based on environmental data, combined with a recently-developed procedure that incorporates biodiversity assessment into a multi-criteria analysis framework. This procedure, as implemented in a software package DIVERSITY, allows the study of a range of relative weightings on biodiversity protection versus suitabilities for alternative land uses, identifying sets of protected areas that maximise total net benefit. A case study integrating biodiversity and forestry production in the Bateman's Bay region of New South Wales, Australia, is presented, in which the suitabilities for forestry are estimated using a spatial decision-support package, LUPIS. LUPIS is linked to the DIVERSITY package in order to combine exploration of different weightings on various forestry-related criteria with weightings on biodiversity. The results demonstrate that, relative to biodiversity allocations that ignore competing land-uses, taking trade-offs into account can lead in principle to an allocation of protected areas that maintains a high degree of biodiversity representation while reducing conflict with forestry requirements.
Forest Ecology and Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 1996
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