Modeling the impact of future development and public conservation orientation on landscape connectivity for conservation planning

Lechner, Alex Mark, Brown, Greg and Raymond, Christopher M. (2015) Modeling the impact of future development and public conservation orientation on landscape connectivity for conservation planning. Landscape Ecology, 30 4: 699-713. doi:10.1007/s10980-015-0153-0


Author Lechner, Alex Mark
Brown, Greg
Raymond, Christopher M.
Title Modeling the impact of future development and public conservation orientation on landscape connectivity for conservation planning
Journal name Landscape Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0921-2973
1572-9761
Publication date 2015-04-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10980-015-0153-0
Open Access Status
Volume 30
Issue 4
Start page 699
End page 713
Total pages 15
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context

Recent papers on the spatial assessment of conservation opportunity have focused on how social values for conservation may change modeled conservation outcomes. Accounting for social factors is important for regional wildlife corridor initiatives as they often emphasize the collaborative aspects of conservation planning.

Objectives

We present an approach for characterizing the potential effects of public conservation orientation and projected future development land use scenarios on landscape connectivity.

Methods

Using public participation GIS techniques (mail-based surveys linked to a mapping component), we classified spatially explicit conservation values and preferences into a conservation orientation index consisting of positive, negative, or neutral scores. Connectivity was then modeled using a least-cost path and graph-network approach for a range of conservation orientation and development scenarios in the Lower Hunter region, Australia. Scenarios were modelled through either adding vegetation (positive orientation) or removing vegetation (negative orientation, development).

Results

Scenarios that included positive conservation orientation link the isolated eastern and western reaches of the Lower Hunter, even when negative conservation scores were included in the model. This outcome is consistent with proposed connectivity corridors identified in regional strategies. The development scenario showed connectivity patterns similar to only modelling negative conservation orientation scores, with greater fragmentation across the region.

Conclusions

The modeled outcomes showed consistency between the public’s conservation orientation and the ecological rationale for increasing connectivity within the region. If conservation orientation can be translated into conservation initiatives, the result will be enhanced regional landscape connectivity that is both ecologically beneficial, as well as socially acceptable.
Keyword Public participation GIS, social research, connectivity, dispersal
Least-cost paths
Graph theory
Land use planning, conservation planning
Scenario planning
Urbanization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 26 Mar 2015, 15:19:44 EST by Dr Greg Brown on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management