Habitat networks are supposed to offer a solution for habitat fragmentation. The notion is that when natural habitat becomes fragmented during economic development of a landscape, individual areas are no longer large enough for persistent populations. Connected as a network, the habitat remnants may still offer conditions for long-term conservation. In landscapes where many land-use functions are combined, landscape and conservation planners need quantitative rules for developing sustainable habitat networks. Planners also need instruments to generate alternative options and scenarios in a search for the most effective, best accepted, and most economically stable network design. In this chapter, I discuss existing concepts of habitat networks and evaluate recent applications of network assessment. Then I propose a new prognostic method called landscape cohesion assessment, in which an actual landscape is compared with a reference database of landscapes that offer sustainable conditions for a selection of target species. I finish by discussing research needed to develop the method further and to underpin it with empirical knowledge.
|Title of host publication||Applying landscape ecology in biological conservation|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|