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Modeling Alternative Approaches to the Biodiversity Offsetting of Urban Expansion in the Grenoble Area (France): What Is the Role of Spatial Scales in ‘No Net Loss’ of Wetland Area and Function?

Anne-Charlotte Vaissière (), Fabien Quétier (), Adeline Bierry (), Clémence Vannier (), Florence Baptist () and Sandra Lavorel ()
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Anne-Charlotte Vaissière: Écologie Systématique Évolution, Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS, AgroParisTech, 91405 Orsay, France
Fabien Quétier: Biotope Headquarters 22, bd Maréchal Foch—BP58, 34140 Mèze, France
Adeline Bierry: Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, UMR 5553 CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie-Mont-Blanc, 38058 Grenoble, France
Clémence Vannier: Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, UMR 5553 CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie-Mont-Blanc, 38058 Grenoble, France
Florence Baptist: Biotope Headquarters 22, bd Maréchal Foch—BP58, 34140 Mèze, France
Sandra Lavorel: Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, UMR 5553 CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Savoie-Mont-Blanc, 38058 Grenoble, France

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 11, 1-23

Abstract: It is increasingly common for developers to be asked to manage the impacts of their projects on biodiversity by restoring other degraded habitats that are ecologically equivalent to those that are impacted. These measures, called biodiversity offsets, generally aim to achieve ‘no net loss’ (NNL) of biodiversity. Using spatially-explicit modeling, different options were compared in terms of their performance in offsetting the impacts on wetlands of the planned urban expansion around Grenoble (France). Two implementation models for offsetting were tested: (a) the widespread bespoke permittee-led restoration project model, resulting in a patchwork of restored wetlands, and (b) recently-established aggregated and anticipated “banking” approaches whereby larger sets of adjacent parcels offset the impacts of several projects. Two ecological equivalence methods for sizing offsets were simulated: (a) the historically-prevalent area-based approach and (b) recently introduced approaches whereby offsets are sized to ensure NNL of wetland functions. Simulations showed that a mix of functional methods with minimum area requirements was more likely to achieve NNL of wetland area and function across the study area and within each subwatershed. Our methodology can be used to test the carrying capacity of a landscape to support urban expansion and its associated offsetting in order to formulate more sustainable development plans.

Keywords: mitigation hierarchy; biodiversity offsetting; no net loss; spatially-explicit modeling; wetlands; Isère; European Alps; habitat banking; Dinamica; carrying capacity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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