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Forests 2014, 5(12), 3222-3240;

Comparison of Three Ideal Point-Based Multi-Criteria Decision Methods for Afforestation Planning

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Division of Forest, Nature and Landscape, KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Celestijnenlaan 200E, Leuven, Belgium
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Centre for Industrial Management, Traffic & Infrastructure, KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Celestijnenlaan 300, Leuven, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
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Three ideal point-based multi-criteria decision methods (MCDM), i.e., iterative ideal point thresholding (IIPT), compromise programming (CP) and a newly-proposed CP variant, called balanced compromise programming (BCP), were applied to the Tabacay catchment in Ecuador with the aim of finding a distribution of land use types (LUT) that optimizes regional land performance. This performance was expressed in terms of several conflicting on-site ecosystem services (ESS), namely water conservation, soil protection, carbon storage and monetary income. IIPT selects the best performing LUT on a per-land unit basis, that is the assignment of a LUT to a land unit is completely independent with respect to other land units. CP and BCP, on the other hand, aim at optimizing the integrated regional performance. These methods produce a LUT distribution that is as close as possible to the absolute optimal performance that would be achieved when conflict among ESS is not considered. In general, similar results were obtained with CP and BCP. This was not the case when the results produced by these two methods were contrasted with IIPT. For most ESS under consideration, CP and BCP produced balanced results that were closer to the absolute optimal values when compared to IIPT. We conclude from our results that, when optimization of land performance at a regional scale is at stake, CP-derived models emerge as the preferable option over IIPT, especially when balanced solutions are a requirement. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-criteria; decision support; ecosystem services; afforestation multi-criteria; decision support; ecosystem services; afforestation

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Estrella, R.; Cattrysse, D.; Van Orshoven, J. Comparison of Three Ideal Point-Based Multi-Criteria Decision Methods for Afforestation Planning. Forests 2014, 5, 3222-3240.

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