Sprawl or dense?: Assessing impacts of regional development plans on landscape network connectivity
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The management of landscape connectivity has been identified as one of the most important measures to counteract negative impacts on biodiversity by habitat loss and fragmentation. Such management must be able to cross spatial and temporal administrative and ecological scales. The use of graph-theory and network-based landscape-ecological tools has gained considerable interest as a promising way forward to address these issues. However, despite urgent needs to adapt and implement network-based connectivity analysis in planning, assessment and decision-making, surprisingly little attention has been paid to developing approaches for their effective practical application. In this paper, a large-scale assessment of the Regional Development Plan for the Stockholm Region (RUFS 2010) was carried out, argued to be the first graph-theoretic assessment of landscape connectivity for real proposed planning alternatives. In addition, it is the first time where the analysis of connectivity was an integral part in the planning process. Three planning alternatives were compared with the current situation for four different habitat types and one hundred different dispersal capacities. Three families of network metrics representing different underlying processes were selected, that have previously been shown to capture the variability of a larger set of metrics. The sprawl alternative emerged as having the largest negative impact while the dense alternative had the smallest. However, when comparing the impact with the amount of habitat consumed, the sprawl alternative emerged as being the most efficient in several situations. In order to achieve a better understanding of the underlying processes, a spatial study was carried out. The analysis leads to important insights on the planning of connectivity in an urbanizing region, argued to be applicable within a broad set of urbanizing regions throughout the world.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48980DiVA: diva2:459054
QS 20112011-11-242011-11-242013-12-20Bibliographically approved