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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 35(2)

Balancing trade-offs between biodiversity and production in the re-design of rangeland landscapes

C. M. Waters A E , T. D. Penman B , R. B. Hacker A , B. Law C , R. P. Kavanagh C D , F. Lemckert C D and Y. Alemseged A

A NSW Department of Primary Industries, PMB 19, Trangie, NSW 2823, Australia.
B Centre for the Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, Institute of Conservation Biology and Environmental Management, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.
C NSW Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 100, Beecroft, NSW 2119, Australia.
D Niche Environment and Heritage, PO Box W36, Parramatta, NSW 2150, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: cathy.waters@industry.nsw.gov.au

The Rangeland Journal 35(2) 143-154 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RJ12083
Submitted: 19 October 2012  Accepted: 25 March 2013   Published: 20 May 2013

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The conflict that exists between the competing needs of biological conservation and pastoral production is well recognised but few studies have examined these conflicts due to their complexity and the uncertainty that surrounds these relationships. The development of a Bayesian network model that examines the trade-offs between the conservation value of the landscape for a range of taxa (flora, mammals, birds and herpetofauna) and its primary production value under alternative land uses is described. The model emphasises structural diversity of vegetation and ecosystem productivity as key drivers of both biodiversity and agricultural production. Simple scenarios, used to examine the influence of different land uses on multiple components of biodiversity and agricultural productivity, demonstrated the potential for the analysis of the trade-offs associated with alternative landscape designs. The potential of the model, as a planning or policy development tool for land management agencies or regional Natural Resource Management bodies, at multiple scales, is identified.

Additional keywords: Bayesian networks, natural resource management, planning, policy development.


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