Habitat and Landscape Design: Concepts, Constraints and Opportunities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Fundamental to conservation design is the amount, arrangement and quality of habitat in a landscape.Habitat is typically characterized in one of two ways, one being organism-specific and the other land-based. Whereas the latter may be useful, particularly at broad scales, an organism-based understanding is necessary to assess habitat quality and to determine appropriate restoration goals. Because existing reserves are inadequate to provide for the full complement of biodiversity, it is necessary to acquire additional land with habitat value or restoration potential and also to achieve conservation goals on private land. In targeting habitat for acquisition, a salient factor in many regions where the need for conservation is greatest is cost, including the price of restoration and ongoing maintenance. Because costs are often high and available land is limited in human-dominated landscapes, it is essential to consider carefully the merits of all available properties, including relatively small parcels.Habitat conservation on private land will require that regulatory approaches are complemented with economic incentives, and a mix of top-down and grassroots organizational structures. Greater emphasis must also be placed on the benefits accruing to landowners through habitat conservation on their properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationManaging and Designing Landscapes for Conservation
Subtitle of host publicationMoving from Perspectives to Principles
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781405159142
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation design
  • Habitat
  • Landscape design
  • Organizational structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Miller, J. R. (2008). Habitat and Landscape Design: Concepts, Constraints and Opportunities. In Managing and Designing Landscapes for Conservation: Moving from Perspectives to Principles (pp. 81-95). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470692400.ch8