Implementing efficient conservation portfolio design

Mindy L. Mallory, Amy W. Ando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern tools for cost-effective conservation reserve site planning require the planner to have information about spatial distributions of conservation costs and benefits. Climate change creates unprecedented uncertainty about future land values and species habitat ranges, such that conservation scientists cannot map costs and benefits with certainty anymore. This paper contributes to the literature on the economics of conservation in the face of climate change uncertainty. It advances a new method for using modern portfolio theory to choose lands to protect that yield total conservation returns with less uncertainty. It explores the implications for portfolio recommendations of variation in the correlations between ecological and land-value responses to climate change. It also tests the robustness of the method to shortcuts that might be taken to simplify analysis, identifying problems that arise if conservation costs are ignored in portfolio analysis and demonstrating when portfolio recommendations are sensitive to how ecological benefits are quantified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalResource and Energy Economics
StatePublished - Nov 2014


  • Climate change
  • Conservation
  • Portfolio
  • Prairie Pothole Region
  • Reserve-site selection
  • Risk
  • Spatial
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Implementing efficient conservation portfolio design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this