Article on Landscape permeability for ecological connectivity at the macro-regional level recently published

mardi, 28 mai 2024

An article focusing on the development and application of the Continuum Suitability Index (CSI) for assessing ecological connectivity has recently been published. Over the past decade, ecological connectivity has gained significant attention in policy agendas, particularly in the European transnational context. This article examines the methodologies used to improve structural ecological connectivity and landscape permeability, with a particular focus on the CSI.

The CSI takes into account various anthropogenic factors affecting ecosystems and has been adopted by numerous international and national projects to assess terrestrial landscape permeability at the macro-regional scale. The article discusses the conceptual aspects of the CSI methodology, incorporating findings from a comprehensive literature review and expert workshops. It also examines the results of the application of the CSI in three projects in the Alps and the Dinaric Mountains.

Five key factors - land use, population pressure, landscape fragmentation, environmental protection and topography - are identified as crucial for analysing landscape permeability. The article shows that population pressure has the highest sensitivity in the CSI results, while landscape fragmentation has the least influence. In particular, the environmental protection indicator emerges as the most significant factor when compared with data on the presence of red-listed species.

In addition, the research shows that the level of detail and data sources used have minimal impact on the CSI results, underlining the adaptability and robustness of the tool. This new publication highlights the considerable potential of the CSI as a versatile and straightforward tool for an initial assessment of ecological connectivity at a macro-regional scale.

Click here to read the article.

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