Bull JW, MJ Hardy, A Moilanen and A Gordon (2015) Categories of flexibility in biodiversity offsetting, and their implications for conservation. BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 192:522-532

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Biodiversity offsets (?offsets?) are an increasingly widespread conservation tool. Often, offset policies have a like-for-like requirement, whereby permitted biodiversity losses must be offset by gains in similar ecosystem components. It has been suggested that some flexibility might improve offset outcomes ? such as out-of-kind offsets, which channel compensation towards priority species. But there has been little formal exploration of other types of flexibility, and the possible ecological consequences.

Building upon an existing framework for analysing conservation interventions, we first categorise the types of flexibility relevant to offsetting. We then explore ecological outcomes under two types of flexibility in offsetting, using a model which tracks biodiversity value (via the surrogate of ?habitat condition?