Benefits of global earth observation for conservation planning in the case of European wetland biodiversity

Publication Type  Conference Proceedings
Authors  Jantke, K.; Schleupner, C.; Schneider, U.A.
Year  2009
Conference Location  Stresa, Italy
Conference Name  International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE)

In this work, we apply a habitat allocation model that was developed using principles from systematic conservation planning. The model estimates area requirements and opportunity costs of habitat protection in the European Union simultaneously covering endangered wetland species and habitat types. The model can be solved for a range of biodiversity targets and conservation scenarios.
In this study, we compare a non-GEOSS and a GEOSS-version of the habitat allocation model which have two major differences. First, there are no restrictions on the available habitat area per planning unit in the simple model version, whereas explicit modeled wetland habitat data with a resolution of 1 km² serve as input data in the second version. European wetland areas are distinguished between existing wetlands and areas suitable for restoration measures. It is differentiated between several wetland types as well. Second, we compare coarse country-specific land costs with land costs on a 5’ resolution. Homogenous response units (HRU) were used to delineate the detailed cost data. HRU are spatially delineated as zones of a grid having the same class of altitude, slope and soil.
Our results show that conservation planning tools benefit significantly from the integration of high resolution habitat area data and spatially explicit cost data. They enable more reliable estimations on area requirements, habitat shares and opportunity costs of habitat protection. Implementing high-resolution habitat and cost data into the conservation planning tool results in overall lower costs of habitat protection.

Keywords  mathematical optimization model; mixed integer programming; systematic conservation planning; marginal costs; homogenous response units
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