The Effort-Outcomes Relationship in Applied Ecology: Evaluation and Implications

Jim Hone, V. Alistair Drake, Charles J. Krebs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Knowing the outcome(s) of management efforts in applied ecology is topical and useful. The effort–outcomes principle states that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the desired outcomes of management and the effort applied (the inputs) but with diminishing returns. A question addressed by this relationship is the following: How much management effort is enough to achieve a desired outcome? We evaluate the relationship—namely, how it is described or estimated—give empirical examples, and outline a novel and explicit conceptual framework that connects management efforts to outcomes. We conclude that the relationship has been described three ways previously: in stylized graphs, from computer algorithms, and in observational studies. We recommend a fourth way employing manipulative experiments carried out as part of an adaptive management program and designed explicitly to estimate the relationship's parameters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)845-852
    Number of pages8
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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