GeoDesign Knowledge Portal

Sites/Site Selection Module

Reserve network optimization tool.

Methods And Techniques Implemented



SITES is an analytical toolbox for ecoregional conservation planning. It was developed as a reserve-siting tool for regional conservation analysis where the objective is to achieve specified levels of protection for a list of biodiversity elements (e.g., species, habitat types, or plant communities) as efficiently as possible in terms of cost or area. SITES differs from most other reserve selection models in explicitly incorporating spatial design criteria into the site selection process. With this tool, the user creates a portfolio design of potential reserve sites given competing social and economic demands for land and water. The model calculates the portfolio cost for each potential solution and uses simulated annealing to search for the best (least costly) set of sites that collectively achieve the desired level of protection for all biodiversity elements. The user can run the model with 100s of different scenarios and look at different outcomes and patterns in outcomes to determine which properties are most critical to preserve.

Accepts Data Of Process Types

Stoms, D.M. 2001. Integrating Biodiversity into Land Use Planning. Paper Presented at APA 2001 National Planning Conference, New Orleans, LA. []Hugh Possingham et al. 2000. Mathematical methods for identifying representative reserve networks. []

General:Hasurl (External Link)

Development Status

Biodiversity Conservation

Ecological Restoration

Ecosystem Management

Fish And Wildlife Management

Forest Management

Land Use Planning

Domain Knowledge Modeling Area

Alternative Evaluation

Reserve System

Site Search Or Selection

Decision Problem Types Targeted

Washington Ecoregional Planning Model

Parent Categories

Conservation Of Biodiversity

Decision Modeling

Land Use Allocation

Landscape Analysis And Modeling

Socioeconomic System Modeling

Software Required

Alternative Generation

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Evaluation Criteria Specification

Rank Alternatives

Scenario Simulation And Comparison

Specify Criterion Weight

Software Type

Optimization Methods

Simulated Annealing

Trade-Off Analysis

For Application Domains

Data Management

GIS Analysis Integration

GIS Display Integration

Scenario Management And Comparison

Decision Process Activity Types Served

Biophysical Process

Economic Process

User Defined Process

Glossary Display Property

All (User Defined Analysis Extent)

Regional Extent

Subregional Extent

Contact Person


Image File Name

Forest Management Classes

Species Diversity

Species Viability



Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Windows 2000

Windows 95/98

Windows NT

Windows XP

Accepts Data Of Process Types



SITES 1.0 is a customized ArcView 3.2 project that facilitates designing and analyzing alternative portfolios. The software uses the Site Selection Module (SSM, adapted from SPEXAN 3.0, Spatially Explicit Annealing) to select regionally representative systems of nature reserves for conservation of biodiversity.

Indicators Used


Information Source


Methods And Techniques Implemented


Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Regularly Distributed


Donald Bren School Of Environmental Science And Management , University Of California, Santa Barbara

Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

National Commission On Science For Sustainable Forestry

Analysis Unit

Frank W. Davis

Decision Problem Types Targeted

Software Tools And Models - All

Spatial Decision Support Systems

Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served



Decision Model

Evaluative Models

Simulation Models

Decision Process Activity Types Served

Alternative Ranking, Decision Making

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Decision Alternatives Generation, Scenario Simulation

Model Type

Spatial Decision Support Systems

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