To model the landscape as a network: A practitioner's perspective
2013 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 119, 35-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Recent years have shown a rapid increase in the number of published studies that advocate network analysis (graph theory) to ecologically manage landscapes that suffer from fragmentation and loss of connectivity. This paper studies the reasons, benefits and difficulties of using network analysis to manage landscape fragmentation in the practice of land-use planning. The results are based on interviews with thirteen municipal ecologists and environmental planners in Stockholm, Sweden, who had been introduced to a GIS-tool for network-based connectivity analysis. Our results indicate that fragmentation is not considered enough in municipal planning and demonstrate that none of the interviewed practitioners used systematic methods to assess landscape connectivity. The practitioners anticipate that network-level and patch-level connectivity measures and maps would help them to communicate the meaning and implications of connectivity to other actors in the planning process, and to better assess the importance of certain habitats affected by detailed plans. The main difficulties of implementing network-based connectivity analyses reported by the respondents related to the choice of focal species and the lack of model input in terms of landscape data and dispersal distances. The main strengths were expressed by the practitioners as graphical, quantitative and credible results; the ability to compare planning alternatives and to find critical sites in a more objective manner than today; and to relate local planning and ecology to the regional structure of the landscape. Many respondents stressed the role of fragmentation assessments in the endeavor to overcome current spatial mismatches of ecological and administrative scales.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 119, 35-43 p.
Planning, Landscape, Connectivity, Fragmentation, Graph theory, Network
Environmental Sciences Physical Geography Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95740DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.06.009ISI: 000325196300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95740DiVA: diva2:662491