Ranking individual habitat patches as connectivity providers: Integrating network analysis and patch removal experiments
2010 (English)In: Ecological Modelling, ISSN 0304-3800, Vol. 221, no 19, 2393-2405 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Here we propose an integrated framework for modeling connectivity that can help ecologists, conservation planners and managers to identify patches that, more than others, contribute to uphold species dispersal and other ecological flows in a landscape context. We elaborate, extend and partly integrate recent network-based approaches for modeling and supporting the management of fragmented landscapes. In doing so, experimental patch removal techniques and network analytical approaches are merged into one integrated modeling framework for assessing the role of individual patches as connectivity providers. In particular, we focus the analyses on the habitat availability metrics PC and IIC and on the network metric Betweenness Centrality. The combination and extension of these metrics jointly assess both the immediate connectivity impacts of the loss of a particular patch and the resulting increased vulnerability of the network to subsequent disruptions. In using the framework to analyze the connectivity of two real landscapes in Madagascar and Catalonia (NE Spain), we suggest a procedure that can be used to rank individual habitat patches and show that the combined metrics reveal relevant and non-redundant information valuable to assert and quantify distinctive connectivity aspects of any given patch in the landscape. Hence, we argue that the proposed framework could facilitate more ecologically informed decision-making in managing fragmented landscapes. Finally, we discuss and highlight some of the advantages, limitations and key differences between the considered metrics.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 221, no 19, 2393-2405 p.
Landscape fragmentation, Landscape ecology, Land use planning, Conservation management, Network analysis, Graph theory
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49140DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.06.017ISI: 000282039800017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49140DiVA: diva2:376332
authorCount :22010-12-102010-12-102014-11-07Bibliographically approved