Michael Bode

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Are you Michael Bode?

Claim your profile

Publications (40)333.7 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Policy documents advocate that managers should keep their options open while planning to protect coastal ecosystems from climate-change impacts. However, the actual costs and benefits of maintaining flexibility remain largely unexplored, and alternative approaches for decision making under uncertainty may lead to better joint outcomes for conservation and other societal goals. For example, keeping options open for coastal ecosystems incurs opportunity costs for developers. We devised a decision framework that integrates these costs and benefits with probabilistic forecasts for the extent of sea-level rise to find a balance between coastal ecosystem protection and moderate coastal development. Here, we suggest that instead of keeping their options open managers should incorporate uncertain sea-level rise predictions into a decision-making framework that evaluates the benefits and costs of conservation and development. In our example, based on plausible scenarios for sea-level rise and assuming a risk-neutral decision maker, we found that substantial development could be accommodated with negligible loss of environmental assets. Characterization of the Pareto efficiency of conservation and development outcomes provides valuable insight into the intensity of trade-offs between development and conservation. However, additional work is required to improve understanding of the consequences of alternative spatial plans and the value judgments and risk preferences of decision makers and stakeholders. Minimizando el Costo de Mantener Opciones Abiertas para la Conservación en un Clima Cambiante.
    Conservation Biology 01/2014; · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: REDD+ presents novel options for conservation in the tropics, yet it is unclear how biodiversity-focused organizations or actors should react to these carbon-focused opportunities. Here, we critically assess for the first time the expected outcomes of five contrasting scenarios of engagement between a biodiversity actor and REDD+. We discover that in the Berau regency, Indonesia, it is usually beneficial for a biodiversity actor to react in some way to REDD+, but the preferred reaction depends on whether a REDD+ project is already developing in the region, and the scale and type of conservation objectives. In general, from a strict biodiversity perspective, the most cost efficient reaction to the presence of REDD+ is to use biodiversity funds to protect areas neglected by REDD+. Our results demonstrate that if biodiversity actors fail to adapt the way they pursue conservation in the tropics, REDD+ opportunities could go largely untapped.
    Conservation Letters 11/2013; 6(6). · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The conservation of many threatened species can be advanced by the eradication of alien invasive animals from islands. However, island eradications are an expensive, difficult and uncertain undertaking. An increasingly common eradication strategy is the construction of ‘interior fences’ to partition islands into smaller, independent eradication regions that can be treated sequentially or concurrently. Proponents argue that, while interior fences incur substantial up front construction costs, they reduce overall eradication costs. However, this hypothesis lacks an explicit theoretical or empirical justification.We formulate a general theory that relates the number of interior fences to the magnitude and variation of the economic cost of island eradication. We use this theory to explore the conditions under which interior fences represent a defensible management strategy, under cost and risk minimisation objectives. We then specifically consider the forthcoming eradication of cats Felis catus from Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia, by parameterising our general theory using published data on the cost and success of previous projects.Our results predict that under a wide range of reasonable conditions, interior fences can reduce the expected cost of a successful invasive alien animal eradication from large islands. On Dirk Hartog Island, interior fences will marginally reduce eradication costs, with two fences reducing expected costs by 3%. Interior fences have a much more substantial effect on the variability of eradication costs: two fences reduce the width of the 95% confidence bounds by more than one‐third and halve the size of the average project cost overrun/underrun.Our results reveal that the construction of interior fences is a defensible management strategy for eradicating alien invasive species from islands. However, the primary benefit of interior fences will be risk management, rather than a reduction in expected project costs.
    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 01/2013; 4(9). · 5.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Context: Exclosure fences are widely used to reintroduce locally extinct animals. These fences function either as permanent landscape-scale areas free from most predators, or as small-scale temporary acclimatisation areas for newly translocated individuals to be ‘soft released’ into the wider landscape. Existing research can help managers identify the best design for their exclosure fence, but there are currently no methods available to help identify the optimal location for these exclosures in the local landscape (e.g. within a property).
    Wildlife Research. 05/2012; 39(3):192-201.
  • Michael Bode, Karl E. C. Brennan
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Malleefowl Leipoa ocellata populations across Australia are declining and the range of the species is contracting. Despite a century of research much uncertainty remains about which factors are driving this decline. Consequently, it is also unclear which conservation actions will reduce the species’ extinction risk. In particular, we lack a quantitative understanding of malleefowl population dynamics. Here we use estimates derived from the literature to provide the first parametrization of a population viability analysis (PVA) for malleefowl. This model creates a quantitative framework for synthesizing existing information and comparing potential management strategies, and will help guide research activities by identifying critical aspects of the malleefowl’s life history. We model population dynamics as stochastic events that depend on individual characteristics, weather conditions and local management actions. Our PVA indicates that an isolated population of 32 adult birds would almost certainly decline to extinction over a 20-year period. Translocating and releasing captive-bred juveniles slows this rate of decline and intensively baiting for foxes can reverse it. Adult mortality rates have the greatest influence on population viability, and land managers should therefore prioritize conservation actions that target adult survivorship over actions that benefit earlier life stages. Quantitative research on the malleefowl should focus on the demographics of the adult life stage, their dispersal and the impacts of fire and grazing. Our analysis highlights the role of PVA models in assessing the cost-effectiveness of alternative management actions, and framing future research priorities for threatened species.
    Oryx 09/2011; 45(04):513 - 521. · 1.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Michael Bode, Lance Bode, Paul R Armsworth
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The coexistence of multiple species on a smaller number of limiting resources is an enduring ecological paradox. The mechanisms that maintain such biodiversity are of great interest to ecology and of central importance to conservation. We describe and prove a unique and robust mechanism for coexistence: Species that differ only in their dispersal abilities can coexist, if habitat patches are distributed at irregular distances. This mechanism is straightforward and ecologically intuitive, but can nevertheless create complex coexistence patterns that are robust to substantial environmental stochasticity. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is noted for its diversity of reef fish species and its complex arrangement of reef habitat. We demonstrate that this mechanism can allow fish species with different pelagic larval durations to stably coexist in the GBR. Further, coexisting species on the GBR often dominate different subregions, defined primarily by cross-shelf position. Interspecific differences in dispersal ability generate similar coexistence patterns when dispersal is influenced by larval behavior and variable oceanographic conditions. Many marine and terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by patchy habitat distributions and contain coexisting species that have different dispersal abilities. This coexistence mechanism is therefore likely to have ecological relevance beyond reef fish.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(39):16317-21. · 9.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Although larval dispersal is crucial for the persistence of most marine populations, dispersal connectivity between sites is rarely considered in designing marine protected area networks. In particular the role of structural characteristics (known as topology) for the network of larval dispersal routes in the conserva-tion of metapopulations has not been addressed. To determine reserve site configurations that provide highest persistence values with respect to their connectivity characteristics, we model nine connectiv-ity topological models derived from graph theory in a demographic metapopulation model. We identify reserve site configurations that provide the highest persistence values for each of the metapopulation connectivity models. Except for the minimally connected and fully connected populations, we observed two general 'rules of thumb' for optimising the mean life time for all topological models: firstly place the majority of reserves, so that they are neighbours of each other, on the sites where the number of connections between the populations is highest (hub), secondly when the reserves have occupied the majority of the vertices in the hub, then select another area of high connectivity and repeat. If there are no suitable hubs remaining then distribute the remaining reserves to isolated locations optimising contact with non-reserved sites.
    Ecol. Model. Ecological Modelling. 01/2011;
  • Source
    M. Bode, H. Possingham
    01/2011;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There has been a dramatic increase in the number of conservation organizations worldwide. It is now common for multiple organizations to operate in the same landscape in pursuit of different conservation goals. New objectives, such as maintenance of ecosystem services, will attract additional funding and new organizations to conservation. Systematic conservation planning helps in the design of spatially explicit management actions that optimally conserve multiple landscape features (e.g., species, ecosystems, or ecosystem services). But the methods used in its application implicitly assume that a single actor implements the optimal plan. We investigated how organizational behavior and conservation outcomes are affected by the presence of autonomous implementing organizations with different objectives. We used simulation models and game theory to explore how alternative behaviors (e.g., organizations acting independently or explicitly cooperating) affected an organization's ability to protect their feature of interest, and investigated how the distribution of features in the landscape influenced organizations' attitudes toward cooperation. Features with highly correlated spatial distributions, although typically considered an opportunity for mutually beneficial conservation planning, can lead to organizational interactions that result in lower levels of protection. These detrimental outcomes can be avoided by organizations that cooperate when acquiring land. Nevertheless, for cooperative purchases to benefit both organizations' objectives, each must forgo the protection of land parcels that they would consider to be of high conservation value. Transaction costs incurred during cooperation and the sources of conservation funding could facilitate or hinder cooperative behavior.
    Conservation Biology 12/2010; 25(2):295-304. · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Science 07/2010; 329(5988):141; author reply 141-2. · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Global declines in biodiversity and the widespread degradation of ecosystem services have led to urgent calls to safeguard both. Responses to this urgency include calls to integrate the needs of ecosystem services and biodiversity into the design of conservation interventions. The benefits of such integration are purported to include improvements in the justification and resources available for these interventions. Nevertheless, additional costs and potential trade-offs remain poorly understood in the design of interventions that seek to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. We sought to investigate the synergies and trade-offs in safeguarding ecosystem services and biodiversity in South Africa's Little Karoo. We used data on three ecosystem services--carbon storage, water recharge, and fodder provision--and data on biodiversity to examine several conservation planning scenarios. First, we investigated the amount of each ecosystem service captured incidentally by a conservation plan to meet targets for biodiversity only while minimizing opportunity costs. We then examined the costs of adding targets for ecosystem services into this conservation plan. Finally, we explored trade-offs between biodiversity and ecosystem service targets at a fixed cost. At least 30% of each ecosystem service was captured incidentally when all of biodiversity targets were met. By including data on ecosystem services, we increased the amount of services captured by at least 20% for all three services without additional costs. When biodiversity targets were reduced by 8%, an extra 40% of fodder provision and water recharge were obtained and 58% of carbon could be captured for the same cost. The opportunity cost (in terms of forgone production) of safeguarding 100% of the biodiversity targets was about US$500 million. Our results showed that with a small decrease in biodiversity target achievement, substantial gains for the conservation of ecosystem services can be achieved within our biodiversity priority areas for no extra cost.
    Conservation Biology 02/2010; 24(4):1021-30. · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Addressing the vulnerability of areas to habitat loss remains a challenge for conservation planners. Different areas are often assumed equally vulnerable to habitat loss or, worse, conservation attention focuses on remote, unproductive areas contributing little to minimizing biodiversity loss. Understanding vulnerability is crucial to planning but gathering the required information can be time consuming and expensive; and any data on vulnerability will be uncertain. We investigated the circumstances in which including vulnerability data produces better conservation decisions. We found that it is best to use existing information on vulnerability only when uncertainty is less than 20%30%. With higher uncertainty and large spatial variance in vulnerability, it is best to improve vulnerability data before making conservation decisions. Otherwise, it is best to ignore vulnerability and consider only biodiversity value. Other important factors are whether reservation displaces or inhibits habitat loss and the correlation between biodiversity value and vulnerability. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Conservation Letters 01/2010; · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: April, p. 222) proposed a systematic plan for acquir-ing new protected areas in Madagascar, using extensive new species richness data, but their analy-sis did not consider the costs of acting in different regions. Costs vary substantially; omitting this important facet of conservation planning can lead to poor biodiversity outcomes. Conservation agencies are increasingly incorporating realistic costs to optimize future actions, with the help of conservation software (1, 2). Analyses have shown that the including costs can considerably increase the efficiency of conservation plans, by up to a factor of 10, compared with plans that use area as a proxy (3–5). Estimated land costs in Madagascar (6) vary by up to four orders of magnitude (between USD $0.60 and $1785 per hectare), and some areas identified as priorities by Kremen et al. are in Madagascar's most expensive regions. The costs of the priority areas identified mirror the overall distribution of costs in Madagascar, whereas a more efficient solution would favor low-cost areas. Given that large areas of Madagascar have rela-tively low opportunity costs, much more biodiversity could have been protected with the same investment. In the developing world, such as Madagascar, con-servation decisions that do not include the opportunity costs to stakeholders are unlikely to effectively protect biodiversity (7–9). High-cost sites are usually in demand for other purposes, and targeting these sites for conservation will cause conflict with people who depend on this land. If planners do not attempt to avoid conflict with local stakeholders by including their val-ues throughout the planning process, then reserves will be prone to failure. "Paper parks" are a reality in many developing countries (8), including Madagascar (9), where disenfranchised local communities ignore park boundaries. Local groups are also more likely to suffer from injudicious protected area placement if costs are not included. The resulting expulsions lead to loss of livelihood and cultural degradation (10), while robbing the conservation movement of effective political allies (8). Before Kremen et al.'s methods are used to guide conservation actions, the varying costs of conservation must be incorporated.
    Science 01/2010; 272:141. · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Conservation Letters 01/2010; · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Knowing how species respond to fire regimes is essential for ecologically sustainable management. This axiom raises two important questions: (1) what knowledge is the most important to develop and (2) to what extent can current research methods deliver that knowledge? We identify three areas of required knowledge: (i) a mechanistic understanding of species’ responses to fire regimes; (ii) knowledge of how the spatial and temporal arrangement of fires influences the biota; and (iii) an understanding of interactions of fire regimes with other processes. We review the capacity of empirical research to address these knowledge gaps, and reveal many limitations. Manipulative experiments are limited by the number and scope of treatments that can be applied, natural experiments are limited by treatment availability and confounding factors, and longitudinal studies are difficult to maintain, particularly due to unplanned disturbance events. Simulation modelling is limited by the quality of the underlying empirical data and by uncertainty in how well model structure represents reality. Due to the constraints on large-scale, long-term research, the potential for management experiments to inform adaptive management is limited. Rather than simply recommending adaptive management, we define a research agenda to maximise the rate of learning in this difficult field. This includes measuring responses at a species level, building capacity to implement natural experiments, undertaking simulation modelling, and judicious application of experimental approaches. Developing ecologically sustainable fire management practices will require sustained research effort and a sophisticated research agenda based on carefully targeting appropriate methods to address critical management questions.
    Biological Conservation 01/2010; 143(9):1928-1939. · 3.79 Impact Factor
  • Science 01/2010; 329(5988):141-142. · 31.03 Impact Factor
  • MICHAEL BODE
    Environmental Conservation 11/2009; 36(04):348 - 349. · 2.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Marine Protected Areas are usually static, permanently closed areas. There are, however, both social and ecological reasons to adopt dynamic closures, where reserves move through time. Using a general theoretical framework, we investigate whether dynamic closures can improve the mean biomass of herbivorous fishes on reef systems, thereby enhancing resilience to undesirable phase-shifts. At current levels of reservation (10-30%), moving protection between all reefs in a system is unlikely to improve herbivore biomass, but can lead to a more even distribution of biomass. However, if protected areas are rotated among an appropriate subset of the entire reef system (e.g. rotating 10 protected areas between only 20 reefs in a 100 reef system), dynamic closures always lead to increased mean herbivore biomass. The management strategy that will achieve the highest mean herbivore biomass depends on both the trajectories and rates of population recovery and decline. Given the current large-scale threats to coral reefs, the ability of dynamic marine protected areas to achieve conservation goals deserves more attention.
    Ecology Letters 10/2009; 12(12):1336-46. · 17.95 Impact Factor
  • Michael Bode, Brendan Wintle
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Barriers are used to achieve diverse objectives in conservation and biosecurity. In conservation management, fences are often erected to exclude introduced predators and to contain diseased animals or invasive species. Planning an efficient conservation fence involves a number of decisions, including the size and design of the enclosure. We formulated the first general framework for building a fence that minimizes long-term management costs by balancing the expense of constructing a more secure barrier against the costs of coping with more frequent failures. The approach systematically considers the range of potential solutions to a well-defined fencing problem and results in a solution that maximizes conservation return on investment. We illustrated this method by designing efficient fences to address two different conservation goals: exclusion of invasive predators from populations of threatened eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) and maintenance of isolated populations of healthy Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii). A systematic approach to conservation fencing allows the best fence design to be chosen quantitatively and defensibly. It also facilitates conservation decisions at a strategic level by allowing fencing to be compared transparently with alternative conservation management actions.
    Conservation Biology 08/2009; 24(1):182-8. · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Michael Bode, William Murdoch
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2009; 106(7):E12; author reply E13. · 9.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

824 Citations
333.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • University of Melbourne
      • School of Botany
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Environmental Science and Policy
      Davis, CA, United States
  • 2006–2011
    • University of Queensland 
      • The Ecology Centre
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2009
    • University of Tasmania
      Hobart Town, Tasmania, Australia