Identifying trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services delivery for land-use decisions

Sustainable land-use management must account for the potential trade-offs between biodiversity conservation, productive land uses and ecosystem services. In this study, we used Marxan with Zones to generate land use plans that optimize conservation, farming and forestry land uses to reach biodiversity targets while minimizing the opportunity cost for local communities in an inhabited but data-poor National Park in the Andes of Bolivia. Based on six alternative land-use plans, we identified the synergies and trade-offs between the biodiversity benefits achieved in the different plans and the delivery of four locally important water-related ecosystem services modeled with the web-based tool AguAAndes. Although we find synergies between the conservation of high altitude Polylepis woodlands and their associated avifauna and three of the ecosystem services investigated, soil erosion levels were actually higher in scenarios with higher achieved biodiversity benefits. Our study shows how systematic conservation planning and ecosystem service delivery modelling can be used to solve land-use conflicts and identify trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services in a data-poor tropical area. "