Old concepts, new challenges: adapting landscape-scale conservation to the twenty-first century
Biodiversity and Conservation
© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
© 2016 The Author(s)Landscape-scale approaches to conservation stem largely from the classic ideas of reserve design: encouraging bigger and more sites, enhancing connectivity among sites, and improving habitat quality. Trade-offs are imposed between these four strategies by the limited resources and opportunities available for conservation programmes, including the establishment and management of protected areas, and wildlife-friendly farming and forestry. Although debate regarding trade-offs between the size, number, connectivity and quality of protected areas was prevalent in the 1970–1990s, the implications of the same trade-offs for ongoing conservation responses to threats from accelerating environmental change have rarely been addressed. Here, we reassess the implications of reserve design theory for landscape-scale conservation, and present a blueprint to help practitioners to prioritise among the four strategies. We consider the new perspectives placed on landscape-scale conservation programmes by twenty-first century pressures including climate change, invasive species and the need to marry food security with biodiversity conservation. A framework of the situations under which available theory and evidence recommend that each of the four strategies be prioritized is provided, seeking to increase the clarity required for urgent conservation decision-making.
L. Donaldson was supported by a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) CASE studentship (Grant Number NE/L501669/1) in partnership with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). We thank J.A. Hodgson for helpful discussions, and M.A. Cant and three anonymous reviewers for useful comments on this manuscript.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record.
March 2017, Vol. 26, Iss. 3, pp 527–552