Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Bayesian networks and adaptive management of wildlife habitat.

Authors
  • Howes, Alison L
  • Maron, Martine
  • McAlpine, Clive A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Conservation Biology
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2010
Volume
24
Issue
4
Pages
974–983
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01451.x
PMID: 20184652
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Adaptive management is an iterative process of gathering new knowledge regarding a system's behavior and monitoring the ecological consequences of management actions to improve management decisions. Although the concept originated in the 1970s, it is rarely actively incorporated into ecological restoration. Bayesian networks (BNs) are emerging as efficient ecological decision-support tools well suited to adaptive management, but examples of their application in this capacity are few. We developed a BN within an adaptive-management framework that focuses on managing the effects of feral grazing and prescribed burning regimes on avian diversity within woodlands of subtropical eastern Australia. We constructed the BN with baseline data to predict bird abundance as a function of habitat structure, grazing pressure, and prescribed burning. Results of sensitivity analyses suggested that grazing pressure increased the abundance of aggressive honeyeaters, which in turn had a strong negative effect on small passerines. Management interventions to reduce pressure of feral grazing and prescribed burning were then conducted, after which we collected a second set of field data to test the response of small passerines to these measures. We used these data, which incorporated ecological changes that may have resulted from the management interventions, to validate and update the BN. The network predictions of small passerine abundance under the new habitat and management conditions were very accurate. The updated BN concluded the first iteration of adaptive management and will be used in planning the next round of management interventions. The unique belief-updating feature of BNs provides land managers with the flexibility to predict outcomes and evaluate the effectiveness of management interventions.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times