Using ecological thresholds to evaluate the costs and benefits of set-asides in a biodiversity hotspot

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Science  29 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6200, pp. 1041-1045
DOI: 10.1126/science.1255768

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Cost-effective conservation on private land

How affordable is biodiversity conservation in a fragmented landscape? Banks-Leite et al. asked this question for the biodiversity hotspot of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. An annual investment of <10% of Brazil's agricultural subsidies could support effective ecological restoration on private lands. This would increase biodiversity in set-aside land to the same level observed in protected areas. The cost-effectiveness of this scheme suggests a path forward for conservation strategies in other similarly mixed landscapes, too.

Science, this issue p. 1041