Data for: Conservation planning for people and nature in a Chilean biodiversity hotspot

Published: 08-03-2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/pwrzhp6jkp.2
Maria Martinez Harms


Using systematic conservation planning methods, we identified priority areas for extending the existing protected area system to cost-effectively expand the current conservation reserve network improving biodiversity and social accessibility at minimum cost in Central Chile. As a surrogate for biodiversity, we considered 34 forest ecosystem types presented in the study area, excluding areas where the native forest had been cleared according to a country-level updated land cover map. We took as a baseline the existing protected area system inclusive of both public and private protected areas as derived from the Chilean Ministry of Environment database ( We compared the baseline scenario with three different conservation scenarios: minimise land cost scenario (minimise_land_cost) which prioritize the selection of less expensive planning units minimizing the land acquisition cost, the maximum penalty for social access (minimise_penalty_for_access) which penalized social inequality access to cultural ecosystem services, favouring the selection of priority areas closest to municipalities that currently have low access. The combined land cost and social access scenario (minimise_trade-off) that seeks to reduce land cost and maximize social accessibility at the same time. We aimed to maintain 17% of each conservation feature. We increased the target to 30% for the 5 ecosystems that are listed as endangered or critical (ecosystems 6, 7, 22, 24 and 25 according to the supplementary ). We estimated the cost of achieving the target with the best solution output (i.e., the network that met the target at the least cost) and estimated the area needed to achieve it. To identify conservation priorities, we used the conservation planning tool Marxan ( to compare the reserve expansion under the three conservation scenarios and in achieving biodiversity targets. This database contain the spatial layers representing the selection frequency outputs (sites achieving a 17% for each of the 34 forest ecosystem types) for three scenarios tested: minimise land cost scenario (minimise_land_cost), the maximum penalty for social access (minimise_penalty_for_access) and the combined land cost and social access scenario (minimise_trade-off).