Reserve selection as a maximal covering location problem

TitleReserve selection as a maximal covering location problem
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsChurch, RL, Stoms, DM, Davis, FW
JournalBiological Conservation
Keywordsreserve selection conservation planning optimization

Many alternative approaches have been proposed for setting conservation priorities from a database of species (or communities) by site. We present a model based on the premise that reserve selection or site prioritization can be structured as a classic covering problem commonly used in many location problems. Specifically, we utilize a form of the maximal covering location model to identify sets of sites which represent the maximum possible representation of specific species. An example application is given for vertebrate data of Southwestern California, which is then compared to an iterative solution process used in previous studies. It is shown that the maximal covering model can quickly meet or exceed iterative models in terms of the coverage objective and automatically satisfies a complementarity objective. Refinements to the basic model are also proposed to address additional objectives such as irreplaceability and flexibility.