The science focus of the Peninsular Florida LCC is to enhance conservation planning in Florida by investigating a number of possible trajectories of future landscape transformation. Conservation science is prospective in nature because it examines changing assumptions, vulnerability to stressors, uncertainty and risk. These factors can be expressed as models or combined into alternate future scenarios. Based on initial efforts started with Everglades restoration, we have developed scenarios for the entire state of Florida.
Through a systematic exploration at the landscape-scale, scenarios can be utilized to predict conservation opportunities or areas of conservation conflict. Scenarios are not conceived as blueprints for the future, but rather as learning tools for management of uncertainty. The scenarios inherently contain assumptions with a number of dimensions including future time horizons.
The scenarios that are presented here will have the best utility at large scales as is true with most landscape level models. It is also true that uncertainty grows as the forecasted timeline is extended. The scenarios will need to be updated and adjusted through learning about their utility and constraints and the need for new input variables.
These scenarios should be valuable resource for anyone engaged in land use planning. They, in and of themselves, cannot make decisions. They can be very useful, transparent tools for informing decisions, particularly in an adaptive context. We would like to thank all of the members of the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Committee and our adaptive science team for their support of this project.