Building systems-based scenario narratives for novel biodiversity futures in an agricultural landscape

Michael Mitchell, Michael Lockwood, Susan A Moore, Sarah Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Improving biodiversity futures requires a systems-based appreciation of the dynamic human and biophysical interactions shaping landscapes. By combining a structured approach to identifying key drivers of change on biodiversity with a collaborative approach to scenario planning, biodiversity planners and managers can work with stakeholders to identify a range of possible futures and explore their implications. This paper presents an approach to developing scenario narratives constructed against key drivers of change identified through a social–ecological systems analysis. The approach facilitated the integration of stakeholder and expert input to inform system dynamics affecting biodiversity outcomes, helping to direct and discipline the collective imagination, and to challenge assumptions and reveal new opportunities and strategies. Examples are provided to show how conventional notions about preserving biodiversity remnants “as is” were not a good fit for the diverse range of futures imagined, and that restoration ecology would have to expand to incorporate ideas of landscape fluidity and novel ecosystems. Aspects of the scenario narratives highlighted the need for new conservation strategies for the endangered native grassland ecological community within the Tasmanian Midlands case study, and a re-focusing on new locations across that landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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