The value of information in reserve site selection

Stephen Polasky, Andrew R. Solow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The reserve site selection problem is to select sites for the establishment of biological reserves with the goal to maximize the number of species contained in the reserves. When species distributions are known, this corresponds to the maximal coverage problem. In practice, knowledge of species distributions may be incomplete and only incidence probabilities are available. In this case, the goal is to maximize the expected number of species contained in the reserves. This is called the maximal expected coverage problem. This paper describes and illustrates a formal approach to assess the value of information, such as site surveys or species surveys, in this problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1058
Number of pages8
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers on an earlier version of this paper are acknowledged with gratitude. Partial support for this work was provided by EPA Grant R825311-01-0.


  • Bayesian decision theory
  • Maximal expected coverage problem
  • Optimization


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