UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessing the necessary width of buffer zones : an ecological study in Ruteng Strict Nature Reserve, Flores, Indonesia de Fretes, Yance


The buffer zone has become an important component in all reserve management plans or conservation initiatives, particularly in tropical regions. Buffer zones have been proposed as both an additional protection to existing reserves and a means to provide opportunities for people living adjacent to the reserves to maintain their livelihood. One fundamental problem of the buffer zone approach is that there are no methods available to determine appropriate buffer zone width for any given reserve. Many suggestions for a standard buffer zone width have been offered, but these are largely based on intuition . There is a serious lack of ecological studies to support those suggestions. In areas where land is abundant and population density is low, we may make "prudent guesses" in determining buffer zone width. However, in areas where human population pressure has led to increasing levels of resource consumption and an increase in land-use conflicts , ecologically-based studies should be used in determining buffer zone width. Considering the accelerated rate of habitat destruction and loss coupled with chronic reserve management problems, long-term and detailed ecological studies to determine buffer zone width for each individual reserve are infeasible and unrealistic . What is needed is a method that can be used to gather biophysical data for determining necessary buffer zone width. Such a method should be simple, inexpensive, and easily-taught to and used by park planners and communities around the reserves; yet, it should also be comprehensive enough to provide reliable information. The method proposed in this thesis is based on analysis of species richness, species diversity, stem density and species compositions. The major concept is that areas around the reserve showing similar species richness, species diversity, stem density and species composition to the core habitats of the reserve, should be legalized as buffer zone. The proposed method must be used in conjunction with considerations about the socio-economic and cultural conditions of the people living around the reserve. The potential of the proposed method is demonstrated by an application focusing on plants in the area around the Ruteng Strict Nature Reserve on Flores Island, Indonesia.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.