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Biodiversity in environmental assessment: current practice and tools for prediction
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1640-8946
2006 (English)In: Environmental impact assessment review, ISSN 0195-9255, E-ISSN 1873-6432, Vol. 26, no 3, 268-286 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity. Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment are essential instruments used in physical planning to address such problems. Yet there are no well-developed methods for quantifying and predicting impacts of fragmentation on biodiversity. In this study, a literature review was conducted on GIS-based ecological models that have potential as prediction tools for biodiversity assessment. Further, a review of environmental impact statements for road and railway projects from four European countries was performed, to study how impact prediction concerning biodiversity issues was addressed. The results of the study showed the existing gap between research in GIS-based ecological modelling and current practice in biodiversity assessment within environmental assessment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 26, no 3, 268-286 p.
Keyword [en]
environmental impact assessment; biodiversity assessment; GIS-based ecological modelling; prediction tools; strategic environmental assessment; road and railway projects
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8531DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2005.09.001ISI: 000236979200004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33645851034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8531DiVA: diva2:13881
Note

QC 20150721

Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spatial prediction tools for biodiversity in environmental assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial prediction tools for biodiversity in environmental assessment
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Human activities in the form of land use changes, urbanisation and infrastructure developments are major threats to biodiversity. The loss and fragmentation of natural habitats are great obstacles for the long term preservation of biodiversity and nature protection measures alone may not be sufficient to tackle the problem. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) play a central role in identifying, predicting and managing the impacts of human activities on biodiversity. The review of current practice suggests that the complexity of the task is underestimated and that new methodological approaches encompassing the entire landscape are needed. Spatial aspects of the assessment and the lack of information on scale-related issues are particular problems affecting the appropriate assessment of cumulative effects. In parallel with the development and establishment of EIA and SEA, spatial modelling is an expanding field in ecology and many derived applications could be suitable for the prediction and assessment of biodiversity-related impacts. The diversity of modelling methods suggests that a strategy is needed to identify prediction methods appropriate for EIA and SEA. The relevance and potential limitations of GIS-based species distribution and habitat models in predicting impacts on biodiversity were examined in three studies in the greater Stockholm area. Distinct approaches to habitat suitability modelling were compared from the perspective of environmental assessment needs and requirements. The results showed that model performance, validity and ultimate suitability for planning applications were strongly dependent on empirical data and expert knowledge. The methods allowed visual, qualitative and quantitative assessment of habitat loss, thus improving decision support for assessment of impacts on biodiversity. The proposed methods allowed areas of high ecological value and the surrounding landscape to be considered in the same assessment, thereby contributing to better integration of biodiversity issues in physical planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. x, 29 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1041
Keyword
EIA; SEA; Species distribution modelling; Habitat suitability modelling; Impact prediction; GIS; Urbanisation
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4775 (URN)978-91-7178-997-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-05, E3, Osquarsbacke 14, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100727Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2010-07-27Bibliographically approved
2. Biodiversity in environmental assessment: tools for impact prediction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biodiversity in environmental assessment: tools for impact prediction
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Urbanisation and infrastructure developments impact on the surrounding natural environment and threaten biodiversity. The fragmentation of natural habitats in particular is a major obstacle for the preservation of biodiversity in a long-term perspective. In the planning process, both the environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment processes play a central role in the identification and prediction of impacts on biodiversity. At the same time, the devel-opment of GIS technologies and GIS-based ecological models offer new perspectives in the elaboration of predictions. In order to analyse current practices and identify the need for im-provements in the environmental impact process, a review of environmental impact assessment reports was carried out. Further, a review of existing GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models is presented. The results of the review of environmental impact assessment reports show a lack of predictions in current biodiversity assessments. These asssessments often concentrate on impacts at the local scale, failing to consider large-scale and widespread impacts at the ecosys-tem and landscape levels. The review of GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models demon-strate the possibility to generate quantitative predictions for a specific area as well as for it’s sur-rounding environment. At the same time, the flexibility and reproducibility of such methods would allow predictions to be made for different alternatives or scenarios, therefore providing decision makers with relevant information of potential impacts on biodiversity. This would, in turn, result in an improved integration of biodiversity issues in physical planning and contribute to a sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. ix, 16 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2025
Keyword
Environmental technology, Environmental impact assessment; Strategic environmental assessment; Biodiversity assessment; Prediction tools; GIS; GIS-base ecological models, Miljöteknik
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-278 (URN)91-7178-013-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2005-04-14, Sal V35, Teknikringen 72, Stockholm, 13:15
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101129Available from: 2005-07-06 Created: 2005-07-06 Last updated: 2010-11-29Bibliographically approved

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