Journal article

Quantifying the impact of vegetation-based metrics on species persistence when choosing offsets for habitat destruction

Erica Marshall, Roozbeh Valavi, Louise O' Connor, Natasha Cadenhead, Darren Southwell, Brendan A Wintle, Heini Kujala



Developers are often required by law to offset environmental impacts through targeted conservation actions. Most offset policies specify metrics for calculating offset requirements, usually by assessing vegetation condition. Despite widespread use, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of vegetation-based metrics for ensuring biodiversity persistence. We compared long-term impacts of biodiversity offsetting based on area only; vegetation condition only; area × habitat suitability; and condition × habitat suitability in development and restoration simulations for the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. We simulated development and subsequent offsetting through restora..

View full abstract


Awarded by Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council Grant

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian government's National Environment Science Program through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. We thank the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy (HCCREMS) for data and support and A. Whitehead for compiling the original species data records and environmental variables. H.K. also acknowledges support from Academy of Finland Strategic Research Council Grant No. 312559.