Evaluating conservation assessments in the Sandhills of North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Simon, Matthew Copeland
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
  • Conservation assessments are spatially explicit techniques that assign value to areas based on their ability to protect natural resources such as species, habitat and environmental processes. These may be spatially congruent thereby providing value-added conservation opportunities, or incongruent, representing trade-offs that should be considered with full knowledge in the conservation planning process. However, little attention has been given to the congruency of multiple conservation assessment criteria, or to how a multi-criteria framework might be used to improve the conservation planning process. My thesis presents a comparison of commonly employed conservation assessment techniques in the Sandhills surrounding Fort Bragg, North Carolina; biodiversity hotspots, habitat connectivity for the red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), and ecosystem services (carbon storage). My research shows that priority areas can be identified even when overall congruence among assessment criteria is low. I also discuss the difficulty of comparing assessments and present a novel approach to comparing conservation assessments criteria.
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  • In Copyright
  • Moody, Aaron
  • Open access

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