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Volume 26
Number 1
Spring 2009
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Information Crossfile
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
The importance of research archives in national parks
Can marine reserves enhance fishery yield?
How far should a marine protected area extend to provide refuge for fish near coral reefs?
Effects of increased nitrogen deposition in wilderness areas
Ecological traps: Implications for the conservation of animal populations
  Alternative approaches to reserve design
The role of genetics in understanding landscape-level ecological processes
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Alternative approaches to reserve design

Editor's Note: Following is a journal article summary of Canon Scholar Emily Gonzales's research by her Canon Scholar colleagues Elizabeth Brusati and Patricia Illoldi-Rangel.

By Patricia Illoldi-Rangel
Patricia Illoldi-Rangel was a 2002 Canon Scholar from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is a professor in the Faculty of Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a postdoctoral fellow with the Biodiversity and Biocultural Conservation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.

SCIENTISTS AND THE PUBLIC HAVE CRITICIZED the establishment of reserves as not promoting the persistence of species, ecosystems, and ecological processes representative of biological diversity. Gonzales et al. (2003) demonstrate the application of newer approaches to systematic reserve design, which could help stakeholders simultaneously maximize ecological, societal, and industrial goals. The authors created example-reserve designs using the simulated annealing algorithm of SITES 1.0 and then contrasted them with a proposed multi-stakeholder process for British Columbia’s central coast. Without increasing land area or timber volume, the strategic approach used reserve designs that included greater portions of key conservation elements such as parts of ecosystems or habitats identified by stakeholders.

The example designs are a work in progress and do not represent final results. The approaches shown are scientifically repeatable and allow modifications as new information is obtained. Simulations can be conducted rapidly, to facilitate workshop formats, or compiled in a manner to prioritize conservation planning units. The authors strongly recommend that strategic approaches to reserve design be used both to provide focus and to catalyze planning discussions. These tools should encourage planning teams to review and modify proposed designs based on theory, natural history information, and local and traditional knowledge. Applying such tools in cases that involve complex sets of biological, social, economic, and political goals and constraints should make planning processes more explicit, repeatable, and defensible.

“These tools should encourage planning teams to review and modify proposed designs based on theory, natural history information, and local and traditional knowledge.”


Gonzales, E. K., P. Arcese, R. Schulz, and F. L. Bunnell. 2003. Strategic reserve design in the central coast of British Columbia: Integrating ecological and industrial goals. Canadian Journal of Forest Resources 33:2129–2140.

Emily K. Gonzales was a 2004 Canon Scholar from the University of British Columbia in Canada. She works as an ecosystem scientist/park ecologist at St. Lawrence Islands National Park in Mallorytown, Ontario.

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From the Guest Editor(s)
In This Issue
  Information Crossfile
Book Reviews
Masthead Information
The Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program: A legacy of science for national parks
Science for parks / parks for science: Conservation-based research in national parks
The rock and ice problem in national parks: An opportunity for monitoring climate change impacts
1,000 feet above a coral reef: A seascape approach to designing marine protected areas
Management strategies for keystone bird species: The Magellanic woodpecker in Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina
Climate change and water supply in western national parks
Mercury in snow at Acadia National Park reveals watershed dynamics
Organic pollutant distribution in Canadian mountain parks
Building an NPS training program in interpretation through distance learning
Musical instruments in the pre-Hispanic Southwest
Societal dynamics in grizzly bear conservation: Vulnerabilities of the ecosystem-based management approach
Linking wildlife populations with ecosystem change: State-of-the-art satellite ecology for national-park science
Whale sound recording technology as a tool for assessing the effects of boat noise in a Brazilian marine park
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