Assessing the conservation potential of habitat networks

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationApplying landscape ecology in biological conservation
    EditorsK.J. Gutzwiller
    Place of PublicationNew York
    ISBN (Electronic)9781461300595
    ISBN (Print)9780387953229
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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