Effects of landscape changes on species viability: A case study from northern Slovakia

Zuzana Pazúrová*, Rogier Pouwels, Jana Ružičková, Janine Bolliger, Juliana Krokusová, Ján Ot'ahel', Robert Pazúr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Urbanization, increasing road networks, agricultural intensification, and land abandonment are widespread land change processes found in most European landscapes. As land changes affect animal species and their populations, there is a need to evaluate the effects of future developments on the viability of protected species. In this paper, we model population size and viability of selected indicator species for a selected area in Slovakia. Our results indicate that selected species are viable in the current landscape composition. However, the expected spread of settlement and the increase of road density in this area would likely lead to decline and loss of viability of species. Similarly, continuous land abandonment followed with spontaneous reforestation would likely trigger a decline of grassland species. In contrast, developing a biocorridor and restoration of existing green elements as modeled in our conservation scenario would strongly improve the viability of all species and avoid the impact of the expected developments. Our results underline the actions that prevent further loss of biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes and, thus, have particular importance for landscape planning and decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3602
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Biocorridor
  • Landscape change
  • Landscape planning
  • Scenario
  • Species viability analysis

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    Pazúrová, Z., Pouwels, R., Ružičková, J., Bolliger, J., Krokusová, J., Ot'ahel', J., & Pazúr, R. (2018). Effects of landscape changes on species viability: A case study from northern Slovakia. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(10), [3602]. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103602