Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ecocom.2020.100849
Document author version
Title (Primary) Conservation management in the face of climatic uncertainty – the roles of flexibility and robustness
Author Drechsler, M.
Journal Ecological Complexity
Year 2020
Department OESA
Volume 43
Page From art. 100849
Language englisch
Keywords Allocation; Climate change; Conservation strategy; Cost-effectiveness; Flexibility; Robustness; Substitutability; Uncertainty
Abstract Climate change is uncertain and has uncertain effects on the suitabilities of species habitats. Conservation strategies have to take this uncertainty into account. Two concepts for addressing uncertainty are, to make strategies adaptive and robust. Using a stylized ecological-economic model in which a decision maker can allocate a conservation budget between two time periods and two regions, I explore how the cost-effective allocation of the budget depends on ecological and economic parameters, including parameters describing the uncertain dynamics of climate change; and under which circumstances adaptive allocation strategies significantly outperform fixed strategies. Even if an adaptive strategy is politically feasible, its optimisation requires some knowledge about the dynamics of the climate change in the form of statistics like mean and variance of climate parameters. If these statistics are estimated wrong then even an adaptive strategy may fail. To explore the risk of such failure I subject the cost-effective strategies derived in the first part of the analysis to a robustness analysis that, among others, identifies those strategies that are relatively prone to wrong expectations of the climate change. Amongst others, the analysis reveals that flexibility pays only if there is uncertainty in the relative performances of different strategies; and depending on whether substitution between the benefits of the two time periods is allowed or not, the most robust strategy is to concentrate conservation expenses to the first period or to allocate the budget evenly amongst the two time periods, respectively.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Drechsler, M. (2020):
Conservation management in the face of climatic uncertainty – the roles of flexibility and robustness
Ecol. Complex. 43 , art. 100849