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To model the landscape as a network: A practitioner’s perspective
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 119, 35-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Planning, Landscape, Connectivity, Fragmentation, Graph theory, Network
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48978DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.06.009ISI: 000325196300004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84883791747OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48978DiVA: diva2:459051
Funder
FormasStandUp
Note

QC 20140827

Available from: 2011-11-24 Created: 2011-11-24 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Connecting the dots: Network analysis, landscape ecology, and practical application
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Connecting the dots: Network analysis, landscape ecology, and practical application
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Humans have a profound impact on ecosystems, and land-use change constitutes a primary driving force in the loss of biodiversity. Habitat loss and fragmentation are key factors in this process by seriously impeding the habitat availability and movement of species, leading to a significant decrease in population viability. Landscape connectivity management able of crossing administrative and ecological spatial and temporal scales has been identified as one of the most important measures to counteract these negative impacts. The use of graph-theory and network-based landscape-ecological tools has become established as a promising way forward to address these issues. Despite urgent needs to adapt and implement such tools in planning, assessment and decision-making, surprisingly little attention has been paid to developing approaches for their effective practical application. This thesis presents the development of a toolbox with network-based, landscape-ecological methods and graph-theoretic indicators, which can be effectively implemented by practitioners within environmental assessment, physical planning and design, to analyze landscape connectivity. Recent advances in network analysis and landscape ecology are brought together and adapted for practical application, bridging the gap between science and practice. The use of participatory approaches was identified as key to successful development, and several workshops, meetings, interviews, as well as prototype testing of the developed software were conducted throughout the study. Input data and selection of species were based on the experience gained through seven real-world cases, commissioned by different governmental organizations within Stockholm County. The practitioners’ perspectives on effective practical application of the proposed toolbox were then assessed through an interview-study. The respondents anticipated improved communication with other actors in addition to being able to better assess critical ecological structures within the landscape. The toolbox was finally tested in a large-scale network analysis of impacts of the regional development plan (RUFS 2010), leading to important insights on the planning of connectivity in an urbanizing region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. x, 52 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1062
Keyword
Landscape connectivity; Land-use planning; Urban and regional planning; Graph theory; Network analysis; Environmental assessment; Least-cost modeling; Biodiversity
National Category
Environmental Engineering Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48491 (URN)978-91-7501-198-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas
Note

QC 20111125

Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-19 Last updated: 2014-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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