Outside the boundary - land use changes in the surroundings of urban nature reserves
2012 (English)In: Applied Geography, ISSN 0143-6228, E-ISSN 1873-7730, Vol. 32, no 2, 350-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The importance of the landscape surrounding a protected area for sustaining its values is frequently discussed in conservation literature. Studies on the interactions of urbanisation and nature conservation at the global scale suggest that protected nature attracts urbanisation, and that this in turn might negatively impact the area. However, studies specifically addressing such land use dynamics at city scale are largely missing. In this study we examine the change in proportion of built up area in two zones (500 m and 1000 m) surrounding 15 urban nature reserves in southern Sweden. By using comprehensive maps from the last 50 years, we compared the zones to the overall urbanisation in the cities to reveal discrepancies in land use surrounding the nature reserves. We found that the amount of built up area in the buffer zones surrounding nature reserves followed the same trend as the corresponding cities and this relation was stable over time, although the positive relationship was not significant. The establishment of nature reserves had no detectable effect on surrounding land use, however two distinguished groups of reserves were identified with either more or less built up area in buffers zones compared to cities. These differences were related to specific local drivers such as land ownership, land use history and nature reserve location. In contrast to earlier studies at global scale, our study did not show that nature reserves attract urbanisation. Instead, we stress that the great variety of contextual factors at the city scale makes quantitative analysis of this kind extremely difficult. However, a general neglect from planning and nature conservation agencies to recognise nature reserves’ dependence on the surrounding landscape configuration could be detrimental to sustain their values in the long-term. Hence we suggest that zones surrounding nature-protected areas should be planned and managed according to local land use history and current landscape conditions to enable and enhance necessary cross-boundary interactions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 32, no 2, 350-359 p.
protected areas, nature conservation, buffer zones, lanscape matrix, nature reserves, Sweden
Environmental Sciences Ecology
Research subject Systems Ecology; Natural Resources Management; Conservation Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-46155DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.06.012ISI: 000298362400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-46155DiVA: diva2:371704