Considering the spatial location of sites that are to be selected for inclusion in a protected reserve network may be necessary to facilitate dispersal and long-term persistence of species in the selected sites. This paper presents an integer programming (IP) approach to the reserve network selection problem where spatial considerations based on intersite distances are taken into account when selecting reserve sites. The objective is to reduce the fragmentation of preserved sites and design a compact reserve network. Two IP formulations are developed which minimize the sum of pairwise distances and the maximum intersite distance between all sites in the reserve network, respectively, while representing all species under consideration. This approach is applied to a pond invertebrate dataset consisting of 131 sites containing 256 species in Oxfordshire, UK. The results show that significant reductions in reserve fragmentation can be achieved, compared with spatially unrestricted optimum reserve selection, at the expense of a small loss in reserve efficiency.
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