Standard Article

Spatial Optimization

Ecological Statistics

  1. John Hof

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vas041

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Hof, J. 2006. Spatial Optimization. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 5.

Author Information

  1. Rocky Mountain Research Center, CO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


This article describes an emerging methodology that captures spatial relationships between different land areas in the process of maximizing an objective function subject to resource constraints. It discusses adjacency constraints and direct approaches. Adjacency constraints are utilized when scheduling timber harvests with legal or regulatory restrictions on the effective size of harvest area. Adjacency relationships are important because, for example, if two seemingly legal-size clearcuts occur within a short time of each other in adjacent areas, then the effective size of the clearcut may not be legal. Direct approaches include the actual ecological spatial relationships of concern. An example is provided that accounts for wildlife habitat fragmentation in optimally placing timber harvests. The land area is divided into cells and choice variables are defined to represent complete scheduled management prescriptions for each cell. Wildlife population levels are then determined by a combination of potential growth, dispersal, and spatially located carrying capacities determined by the management prescription allocations. Other examples of this type of direct spatial optimization are also cited.