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Outside the boundary - land use changes in the surroundings of urban nature reserves
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Natural Resource Management)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
2012 (English)In: Applied Geography, ISSN 0143-6228, E-ISSN 1873-7730, Vol. 32, no 2, 350-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
protected areas, nature conservation, buffer zones, lanscape matrix, nature reserves, Sweden
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology
Research subject
Systems Ecology; Natural Resources Management; Conservation Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-46155DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.06.012ISI: 000298362400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-46155DiVA: diva2:371704
Note
3Available from: 2010-11-22 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Urban shades of green: Current patterns and future prospects of nature conservation in urban landscapes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban shades of green: Current patterns and future prospects of nature conservation in urban landscapes
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban nature provides local ecosystem services such as absorption of air pollutants, reduction of noise, and provision of places for recreation, and is therefore crucial to urban sustainable development. Nature conservation in cities is also part of the global effort to halt biodiversity decline. Urban landscapes, however, display     distinguishing social and ecological characteristics and therefore the implementation of nature conservation frameworks into cities, requires reconsideration of what nature to preserve, for whom and where. The aim of this thesis was to examine the current urban nature conservation with special focus on formally protected areas, and discuss their future role in the urban landscape. A social-ecological systems approach was used as framework and both quantitative and qualitative methods were applied. The studies were performed at local to regional scales in the southern part of Sweden. Four key questions were addressed: i) What are the characteristics of nature conservation in urban landscapes? ii) How does establishment of nature conservation areas affect the surrounding urban landscape? iii) In what ways are spatial and temporal scales recognized in practical management of nature conservation areas? and iv) How can the dichotomy of built up and nature conservation areas be overcome in urban planning? Nature reserves in urban, compared to rural landscapes were in general fewer, but larger and included a higher diversity of land covers. They were also based on a higher number and different kinds of objectives than rural nature reserves. Urbanisation adjacent to nature reserves followed the general urbanisation patterns in the cities and no additional increase in urban settlements could be detected. In general, there was a lack of social and ecological linkages between the nature conservation areas and the urban landscape and practical management showed a limited recognition of cross-scale interactions and meso-scales. Such conceptual and physical isolation risks decreasing the public support for nature conservation, cause biodiversity decline, and hence impact the generation of ecosystem services. A major future challenge is therefore to transform current conservation strategies to become a tool where urban nature is perceived, planned and managed as valuable and integrated parts of the city. To enable social-ecological synergies, future urban planning should address proactive approaches together with key components like active enhancement of multifunctional landscapes, cross-scale strategies and border zone management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 59 p.
Keyword
urbanisation, nature conservation, urban planning, urban systems, nature reserves, Sweden
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-46150 (URN)978-91-7447-194-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-04, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2011-01-14Bibliographically approved

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