Article

Models to distinguish effects of landscape patterns and human population pressures associated with species loss in Canadian national parks

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Abstract

It is widely accepted that large protected areas are required to effectively conserve historical species composition. However, recent analyses of mammal species loss in Canadian and African national parks contradict earlier conclusions that extent of local extinctions (i.e., extirpations) is strongly inversely related to park size, suggesting that park size alone is inadequate to predict reserve designs that may sustain biodiversity. To plan protected areas that will meet conservation goals, reserve-design models that incorporate other landscape-scale factors in addition to reserve area are needed; potential factors include the types and intensity of land use and habitat change, together with land cover types, in and around parks. Additionally, human population size around parks, and visitor density in parks may affect species loss. We quantified land use, land cover, and human population in and around 24 Canadian national parks to model effects of human disturbance and changes in natural habitats on known mammal extirpations.Multiple regression models were compared using the Akaike Information Criterion (AICc). The most parsimonious model (AICc weighting w i = 0.5391) emphasized effective habitat area in and around parks and not visitor numbers nor human population size around parks. Our model suggests that parks with as little as 3140 km2 of effective habitat area inside may be large enough to conserve historical mammal species composition if they are also surrounded by at least 18 000 km2 of effective habitat within 50 km of park boundaries.

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... However, due to time and monetary constraints, decisions are usually based on more limited data. When it is not possible or feasible to conduct surveys of even some portion of the species in an area, basic ecological principles can be applied (Meffe and Carroll 1997, Wiersma et al. 2004. For example, measures reflecting patch size (area) and ...
... landscape composition can predict species diversity for certain taxa and for some sensitive species of conservation importance (Saveraid et al. 2001, Lombard et al. 2003, Wiersma et al. 2004. Research suggests that forest width, the quality of the habitat within a forested area, and the land use and cover type of areas adjacent to a forested area are the dominant factors determining the overall value of a forested area as wildlife habitat , Mensing et al. 1998, Rottenborn 1999, Miller et al. 2003, Wiersma et al. 2004, Mason 2006, Rodewald and Bakermans 2006. ...
... landscape composition can predict species diversity for certain taxa and for some sensitive species of conservation importance (Saveraid et al. 2001, Lombard et al. 2003, Wiersma et al. 2004. Research suggests that forest width, the quality of the habitat within a forested area, and the land use and cover type of areas adjacent to a forested area are the dominant factors determining the overall value of a forested area as wildlife habitat , Mensing et al. 1998, Rottenborn 1999, Miller et al. 2003, Wiersma et al. 2004, Mason 2006, Rodewald and Bakermans 2006. Though these landscape-scale surrogates have been widely applied in the literature , Beazley et al. 2005, Cook 2002, they have typically been used to identify and/or rank the importance of individual sites without considering irreplaceability. ...
... Arguments for the "habitat" hypothesis point out that habitat loss outside of boundaries creates habitat "islands," and island biogeography theory suggests that isolated habitats (even large ones) have a higher chance of species loss through local extirpations and a reduced chance of colonization of new species. In Canada, Wiersma et al. (2004) showed that habitat loss outside of parks was an important predictor of species loss within national parks. The "human population" hypothesis suggests that increased human population densities outside the boundaries of protected areas are responsible for negative ecological eff ects within park boundaries, for example by contributing directly to species losses within a park through hunting and poaching, or indirectly via habitat change, increased road density, or disruption by noise or pollution. ...
... In Canada, Wiersma et al. (2004) evaluated the contribution of eff ective habitat area and human population density to mamma- lian species losses within 24 national parks and in a 50 km (31.1 mi) buff er zone outside of each park. Wiersma et al. (2004) initially chose a 50 km (31.1 mi) buff er zone because it matched a distance chosen in a similar study in the United States ( Parks and Harcourt 2002), and represented a reasonable distance within which park managers could potentially collaboratively manage with adjacent landowners and land managers. ...
... In Canada, Wiersma et al. (2004) evaluated the contribution of eff ective habitat area and human population density to mamma- lian species losses within 24 national parks and in a 50 km (31.1 mi) buff er zone outside of each park. Wiersma et al. (2004) initially chose a 50 km (31.1 mi) buff er zone because it matched a distance chosen in a similar study in the United States ( Parks and Harcourt 2002), and represented a reasonable distance within which park managers could potentially collaboratively manage with adjacent landowners and land managers. Wiersma et al. (2004) found that for disturbance-sensitive mammals (those not normally associ- ated with areas of high human density), species loss since the time of widespread European settlement was best predicted by a model that measured the eff ective habitat area of the park and within a 50 km (31.1 mi) buff er zone outside of the park boundary. ...
Article
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Recent analyses of mammal species loss in protected areas around the world suggest that habitat loss and human population density outside of park boundaries may be better predictors of species loss and biodiversity patterns than absolute area of parks themselves. In North American parks, there have been confl icting studies about the relative impact of habitat versus human population density on the loss of mammals. These differences may be due to scale effects, as past studies in Canadian national parks have not examined the effect of spatial scale on species loss since the time of widespread European settlement. Here, we build on previous work and look at the effects of habitat area and human population density in buffer regions that are 10, 25, 50, and 100 km (6.2, 15.5, 31.1, and 62.1 mi) outside of the boundaries of 24 national parks in Canada on the loss of disturbance-sensitive mammals. We also examine whether the relative importance of predictors is correlated with species body size. As in previous work, we fi nd that the amount of effective habitat area is a more signifi cant predictor than human population density and that scale effects are not signifi cant, at least for the scales and species examined.
... Despite the increasing prevalence of these landscapes, little is known about their ecological mechanics, (see Amarasekare, 2003;Leibold et al., 2004;Tscharntke et al., 2012Tscharntke et al., , 2008, making PA implementation for effective biodiversity conservation difficult. To plan effective PAs, designs need to understand how the types and intensity of land use and habitat, both within and around PAs, affect their conservation efficacy (Wiersma et al., 2004). From existing combinations of PAs we can learn how different habitats support species within them and how species distributions vary spatially with natural heterogeneity and anthropogenic disturbance; we can infer how biodiversity is maintained both locally and at larger spatial scales spanning the entire landscape, and crucially, its imbedded matrix. ...
... The value of individual PAs within a network is dependent on the composition and configuration of the surrounding landscape. As a result, the effective area of a PA network might be either larger, or smaller, than what is mapped (, Wiersma et al., 2004;DeFries et al., 2010), depending on the value of the matrix (Driscoll et al., 2014). Baker (2016) found that the effective carnivore conservation area of three parks in the southern United States was much smaller than mapped -all carnivores avoided the edge of the protected areas and were sensitive to human disturbance within protected areas. ...
... Baker (2016) found that the effective carnivore conservation area of three parks in the southern United States was much smaller than mapped -all carnivores avoided the edge of the protected areas and were sensitive to human disturbance within protected areas. Wiersma et al. (2004) found that habitat within 50 km of Canadian park boundaries is important for mammal species conservation within PAs. The conservation value of new PAs, either as stand-alone areas or as components of a PA network, is therefore dependent on both natural and anthropogenic features in the surrounding landscape. ...
Article
Protected areas (PA) networks are promoted globally as an effective method of biodiversity conservation and are increasingly implemented to meet the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi objectives. However, whether PA networks actually conserve biodiversity, and how surrounding landscape features impact their efficacy, is controversial. We used a landscape approach to test whether mammalian biodiversity is maintained locally in PA networks, and whether landscape disturbance in the surrounding matrix detrimentally impacts biodiversity. We measured mammalian biodiversity using camera traps and functional diversity metrics, an approach that could be broadly applied to PA networks in working landscapes globally. We used generalized linear models to relate mammalian biodiversity metrics to natural, anthropogenic, and protected habitats across a range of 20 spatial scales to encompass increasing amounts of matrix. Biodiversity metrics increased with proportion of natural habitats at small scales and decreased with anthropogenic disturbance at large scales surrounding PAs. We found the conservation value of PAs are largely determined by the natural habitat remaining undisturbed, and the degree and type of disturbance in the surrounding working landscape. Implementing protected areas in degraded ecosystems, without addressing that degradation, will likely not achieve mammalian biodiversity conservation goals. We suggest, to achieve Aichi objectives, PAs placed in areas of high natural habitat and mitigated development will provide the best value for mammalian biodiversity conservation.
... This is consistent with theory from Island Biogeography (MacArthur and Wilson 1967), which demonstrates that oceanic islands consistently have lower species richness than an equivalent sized area of mainland. Thus, parks that are small and/or have become isolated from surrounding habitat have their ecological integrity compromised (Wiersma et al. 2004). Estimating how big is "big enough" for parks not to suff er species losses is challenging. ...
... There is uncertainty in estimating minimum area requirements; this is due largely to variation in methodology and in the specifi c location for which estimates were derived. However, under a precautionary approach, the literature suggests that it is prudent to make protected areas as large as possible, at least on the order of several thousand square kilometers, and ensure that they are surrounded by as connected a landscape as possible (Wiersma et al. 2004). Not all protected areas need be thousands of square kilometers in size; where protected areas are set aside to represent geological features, or species with small home ranges, ecological integrity of these biodiversity elements can be maintained with much smaller area. ...
Article
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The science of conservation biology has made many contributions to improving biodiversity conservation within protected areas around the globe. Northern ecosystems are unique, and principles for protected areas design developed for temperate and tropical ecoregions may not readily be extrapolated to northern regions. Recent increases in ecological threats to the Canadian North have spurred interest in improving conservation and representation of northern ecosystems. Here, I present an overview of issues relevant to protected areas planning in the Canadian North, with a focus on the Yukon. I highlight recent Northern Research Institute- supported research on protected areas design in the Yukon, with a particular focus on the issue of representation and an examination of the potential utility of so-called "focal" species in identifying the location of representative protected areas. I show how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may be applied to test questions of how many protected areas may be required to adequately represent mammal diversity in the ecoregions of the Yukon. I also use two different approaches to identify focal species for the Yukon to show that there is a great deal of ambiguity involved in how these species are identified.
... The minimum size for a reserve is an important consideration, and can be estimated using principles from island biography theory (Gurd et al. 2001) or minimum viable popula-tion analysis (Landry et al. 2001, Reed et al. 2003, Kujala et al. 2011. Other approaches use species-area or species-density relationships to estimate minimum area requirements (Desmet andCowling 2004, McCoy andMushinksy 2007) or combine island biogeography principles with a landscape ecology approach (Harcourt et al. 2001, Parks and Harcourt 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004, Wiersma and Simonson 2010. Ecological processes can also be considered, such as minimum dynamic areas (Pickett and Thompson 1978, Hunter 1993, Leroux et al. 2007a, 2007b) that estimate the minimum area needed to ensure that essential ecological processes and disturbances can continue to take place unhindered. ...
... "Intactness" is a term that is commonly related to both fragmentation and habitat loss, but is also a more holistic term that includes any alteration that is anthropogenic in nature, whether or not there is an ecological effect (NCASI 2011). Intactness, usually measured using a variety of satellite imagery, ancillary data, or expert opinion, may be considered as a factor inside existing protected areas (e.g., roads, tourist areas), or beyond the boundaries of protected areas, relating to the effects that the surrounding matrix may have on their ability to continue to conserve biodiversity (Parks and Harcourt 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004). However, using intactness as a criterion for protected area design is complicated, in that the concept encompasses a range of factors and considerations, both ecological and social, making it challenging to define an empirical metric for measurement (NCASI 2011). ...
Article
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Systematic Conservation Planning (SCP) is an approach to protected areas planning that follows a step-by-step process. Recent reviews have examined the use of key "biogeographic-concepts", but an assessment of their use or effectiveness has not been done. We conducted a review of the literature on SCP to assess how the 6-step approach considers these concepts. Most of the 127 papers we reviewed varied in their application of SCP steps. Our findings suggest that protected areas plans are not effectively achieving conservation goals. Only six papers considered data uncertainty. Twenty papers used so-called "data free" conservation targets without clear rationales, and which have been shown to under-represent natural features. The median size of planning units applied (2500 ha) is too small to meet minimum area requirements for many species. We show how an examination of the variation in the ways that SCP is applied helps to identify best practices for achieving conservation effectiveness and efficiency. However, very few SCP efforts have been implemented, making it difficult to assess their effectiveness or efficiency in practice. Detailed examination of how SCP is implemented (perhaps focused on a specific region) can lead to a better understanding of how best to achieve large-scale conservation goals.
... surrogate measures are mainly based on the use of landscape metrics or other similar indices and, instead of sampling species, they sample patches of habitats. Such an approach is based on the assumption that the spatial structure of a landscape reflects diverse environmental aspects, such as: ecosystem function (Aragon et al., 2011;Yeha and Huang, 2009), ecological stability and diversity (Hess et al., 2006;Wiersma et al., 2004;Listopad et al., 2015), or threats to the loss of ecological values. Moreover, spatial patch organization affects environmental function and vice-versa (Botequilha Leitȃo and Ahern, 2002). ...
... In reference to protected areas, surrogate measures of ecological values based on spatial structure are widely applied (Altmoos and Henle, 2006;Casatella and Peano, 2011;Dalleau et al., 2010;Lindenmayer et al., 2002;Pierson et al., 2015;Sowińska-Świerkosz and Soszyński, 2014;Turner et al., 2003;Wiersma et al., 2004). It is a time-and cost-effective approach of assessing different ecological values (Banks-Leite et al., 2011;Ewers et al., 2005). ...
Article
Despite the fact that many ecological landscape indicators have been applied so far, it is challenging to develop an indicator(s) which is easy and cheap to assess while at the same time reflecting the complexity of an ecosystem. The author aimed at the development of such an indicator: the Indicator of Ecological Landscape Quality (IELQ) which ranged from 0 to 2. This is based on the use of surrogate measures of assessing ecological quality (EQ) and a GIS approach. The employed measures include: landscape diversity, the degree of ecological significance of land cover forms, and the character of linear landscape structures. To verify the validity of the adopted measures, the indicator was calculated for areas under different conservation statuses and adjoining non-protected areas located in eastern Poland, 20 sites in total. The results showed that differences in mean IELQ values between areas under different protection regimes are significant (Tukey: p < 0.01). The highest mean values were obtained for nature reserves (0.86), and the lowest for non-protected areas (0.27). Explanatory factors for EQ included the proportion of natural and anthropogenic land cover forms, and the number of land cover forms. Surprisingly, the correlation between the latter factor and IELQ is negative (−0.704), indicating that the lower the landscape diversity, the higher the ecological values. From the protected area management point of view, the developed indicator proved its usefulness in terms of an assessment of ecological values and indicated changes in values over time.
... However, we assumed that agricultural landscapes should not be replacements for protected areas, and therefore, they should not be evaluated in terms of unprotected species that they could protect on their own, but in terms of species that are nominally protected now (in protected areas) but would not be effectively protected in the future, if these protected areas were to become isolated in an 'ocean' of uninhabitable and impermeable agriculture. The effectiveness of protected areas depends upon the area of unprotected habitat in the landscapes that surround them (Wiersma et al., 2004), and thus, we assumed that agricultural landscapes with the most habitat had the highest conservation value. Therefore, hotspots of Type III conflict are 'proactive' as opposed to 'reactive' (Dobrovolski et al., 2011;Phalan et al., 2013). ...
... For example, Noss & Harris (1986) assumed that the intensity of land use in 'multiple-use modules' would increase at increasing distances from core protected areas. It is not known whether there is some distance at which unprotected areas would have the strongest effects on conservation in protected areas, but some studies have assumed that areas within 25 km of protected areas would need to be 'buffer zones' (Wiersma et al., 2004;DeFries et al., 2005;Beaumont & Duursma, 2012). Therefore, we searched a subset of points that were < 25 km from protected areas (H3), and this caused a lot of hotspots in South America, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to be subtracted from the strict consensus. ...
Article
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Aim: Conservation conflict takes place where food production imposes a cost on wildlife conservation and vice versa. Where does conservation impose the maximum cost on production, by opposing the intensification and expansion of farmland? Where does conservation confer the maximum benefit on wildlife, by buffering and connecting protected areas with a habitable and permeable matrix of crop and non-crop habitat? Our aim was to map the costs and benefits of conservation versus production and thus to propose a conceptual framework for systematic conservation planning in agricultural landscapes. Location: World-wide. Methods: To quantify these costs and benefits, we used a geographic information system to sample the cropland of the world and map the proportion of non-crop habitat surrounding the cropland, the number of threatened vertebrates with potential to live in or move through the matrix and the yield gap of the cropland. We defined the potential for different types of conservation conflict in terms of interactions between habitat and yield (potential for expansion, intensification, both or neither). We used spatial scan statistics to find 'hotspots' of conservation conflict. Results: All of the 'hottest' hotspots of conservation conflict were in sub-Saharan Africa, which could have impacts on sustainable intensification in this region. Main conclusions: Systematic conservation planning could and should be used to identify hotspots of conservation conflict in agricultural landscapes, at multiple scales. The debate between 'land sharing' (extensive agriculture that is wildlife friendly) and 'land sparing' (intensive agriculture that is less wildlife friendly but also less extensive) could be resolved if sharing and sparing were used as different types of tool for resolving different types of conservation conflict (buffering and connecting protected areas by maintaining matrix quality, in different types of matrix). Therefore, both sharing and sparing should be prioritized in hotspots of conflict, in the context of countryside biogeography.
... Biodiversity loss inside protected areas is influenced by increased human population (Parks and Harcourt, 2002) and habitat loss (Wiersma et al., 2004;Svancara et al., 2009;Laurance et al., 2012) outside protected boundaries. Studies that examine only changes in habitat area may be inadequate, as management practices or protection can significantly change structural characteristics that are critical for species of concern, even while leaving the total habitat area constant (McIntyre and Wiens, 1999;McAlpine and Eyre, 2002;Lindborg and Eriksson, 2004;Dufour et al., 2006;Joppa et al., 2008). ...
... This creates barriers for dispersal and effectively isolates populations in the park by an inhospitable barrier. Species loss can occur even if the habitat area and structure inside the protected area is improved (Wiersma et al., 2004;Wiersma and Simonson, 2010). The increase of anthropogenic utilizations outside the protected area boundaries can also cause species loss inside boundaries (Parks and Harcourt, 2002;DeFries et al., 2005). ...
Article
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Background/Question/Methods Bozin and Marakhil forest was designated protected area in 1999 to restore habitat for roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). It is located in Kermanshah province, Iran, and covers 23724 ha of semi-arid Zagros forests. Research in Europe has identified the importance of landscape structural characteristics, such as patch edge and contiguity, as important determinants of home-range and population sizes of roe deer. We analyzed landscape changes from 2001 to 2009 inside and outside of this protected area at two scales (Landsat: 30m grain and ~ 6750000 ha extent; and IKONOS/GeoEye: 1m grain and ~16500ha extent). Radiometric corrections and orthorectification were followed by the classification of images to five cover classes using Random Forest algorithm. All available structure metrics were calculated at patch and class level for forests using a 8 cell neighborhood rule. A principal component analysis was applied on the structure metrics at patch level in order to avoid redundancy and select orthogonal metrics for comparison. The selected metrics were used to compare forest structure at general Zagros forests as well as protected and unprotected areas at the two time steps. The areas of the unprotected area located in Iraq were clipped out in order to eliminate the socioeconomic effects and the differences in national management policies. Results/Conclusions At the Landsat scale the selected orthogonal metrics with the highest loadings on the first two principal components (explaining 88% and 86% of the variation in 2001 and 2009, respectively) were patch area, shape index, and contiguity index. Class level metrics showed a 14.5 % forest loss and a 5.4 unit decrease in edge density for the general Zagros forest from 2001 to 2009. While there was no significant change in amount of forest in the protected area or the immediate area, there was an increase in patch connectivity inside of the protected area (p < .01). However, no significance difference was found for the value of the selected patch level metrics for general Zagros structure at the two time steps. These analyses at the first scale suggest that either 1) the park is functioning to protect important roe deer habitat characteristics (and the protection has increased the spatial connectedness of habitats), or 2) the increased habitat connectedness is due to the higher initial forest cover in the protected area. This requires analyses at the fine scale.
... Biodiversity loss inside protected areas is influenced by increased human population (Parks and Harcourt, 2002) and habitat loss (Wiersma et al., 2004;Svancara et al., 2009;Laurance et al., 2012) outside protected boundaries. Studies that examine only changes in habitat area may be inadequate, as management practices or protection can significantly change structural characteristics that are critical for species of concern, even while leaving the total habitat area constant (McIntyre and Wiens, 1999;McAlpine and Eyre, 2002;Lindborg and Eriksson, 2004;Dufour et al., 2006;Joppa et al., 2008). ...
... This creates barriers for dispersal and effectively isolates populations in the park by an inhospitable barrier. Species loss can occur even if the habitat area and structure inside the protected area is improved (Wiersma et al., 2004;Wiersma and Simonson, 2010). The increase of anthropogenic utilizations outside the protected area boundaries can also cause species loss inside boundaries (Parks and Harcourt, 2002;DeFries et al., 2005). ...
Article
Official protection can play a major role in the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of endangered species habitat. Bozin and Marakhil Forest in Kermanshah province of Iran covers 23,724 ha of semi-arid Zagros forests. It was designated as a protected habitat area for Eurasian roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in 1999, a species that thrives on forest edge habitat. Using remote sensing data from 2001 and 2009, we evaluated the effects of this protected designation on forest area and structure at two spatial scales. We processed and classified Landsat images for the two dates covering the protected area and the adjacent unprotected areas for the broad scale analysis. We classified IKONOS and GeoEye images of the two dates covering a part of protected and unprotected areas for fine scale analysis. Protection had a scale dependent influence on habitat availability and structure. A small difference due to protection at the fine scale was increased fractal dimension of forest patches as a measure of habitat complexity, likely due to reduced human impact. The official protection maintained habitat availability, contiguity, and complexity at the broad scale, probably at the expense of increasing human pressure on the surrounding unprotected areas. Given this scale dependency of protection effects on habitat amount and structure, the actual effects of protection would depend on the practical home range size and scale at which species use the habitats.
... Biodiversity loss inside protected areas is influenced by increased human population (Parks and Harcourt, 2002) and habitat loss (Wiersma et al., 2004;Svancara et al., 2009;Laurance et al., 2012) outside protected boundaries. Studies that examine only changes in habitat area may be inadequate, as management practices or protection can significantly change structural characteristics that are critical for species of concern, even while leaving the total habitat area constant (McIntyre and Wiens, 1999;McAlpine and Eyre, 2002;Lindborg and Eriksson, 2004;Dufour et al., 2006;Joppa et al., 2008). ...
... This creates barriers for dispersal and effectively isolates populations in the park by an inhospitable barrier. Species loss can occur even if the habitat area and structure inside the protected area is improved (Wiersma et al., 2004;Wiersma and Simonson, 2010). The increase of anthropogenic utilizations outside the protected area boundaries can also cause species loss inside boundaries (Parks and Harcourt, 2002;DeFries et al., 2005). ...
Conference Paper
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Background/Question/Methods Bozin and Marakhil forest was designated protected area in 1999 to restore habitat for roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). It is located in Kermanshah province, Iran, and covers 23724 ha of semi-arid Zagros forests. Research in Europe has identified the importance of landscape structural characteristics, such as patch edge and contiguity, as important determinants of home-range and population sizes of roe deer. We analyzed landscape changes from 2001 to 2009 inside and outside of this protected area at two scales (Landsat: 30m grain and ~ 6750000 ha extent; and IKONOS/GeoEye: 1m grain and ~16500ha extent). Radiometric corrections and orthorectification were followed by the classification of images to five cover classes using Random Forest algorithm. All available structure metrics were calculated at patch and class level for forests using a 8 cell neighborhood rule. A principal component analysis was applied on the structure metrics at patch level in order to avoid redundancy and select orthogonal metrics for comparison. The selected metrics were used to compare forest structure at general Zagros forests as well as protected and unprotected areas at the two time steps. The areas of the unprotected area located in Iraq were clipped out in order to eliminate the socioeconomic effects and the differences in national management policies. Results/Conclusions At the Landsat scale the selected orthogonal metrics with the highest loadings on the first two principal components (explaining 88% and 86% of the variation in 2001 and 2009, respectively) were patch area, shape index, and contiguity index. Class level metrics showed a 14.5 % forest loss and a 5.4 unit decrease in edge density for the general Zagros forest from 2001 to 2009. While there was no significant change in amount of forest in the protected area or the immediate area, there was an increase in patch connectivity inside of the protected area (p < .01). However, no significance difference was found for the value of the selected patch level metrics for general Zagros structure at the two time steps. These analyses at the first scale suggest that either 1) the park is functioning to protect important roe deer habitat characteristics (and the protection has increased the spatial connectedness of habitats), or 2) the increased habitat connectedness is due to the higher initial forest cover in the protected area. This requires analyses at the fine scale.
... However, understanding each of these points would require appropriate monitoring variables that have yet to be identified (Jones et al., 2009). Biodiversity loss inside protected areas is influenced by increased human population (Parks and Harcourt, 2002 ) and habitat loss (Wiersma et al., 2004; Svancara et al., 2009; Laurance et al., 2012) outside protected boundaries. Studies that examine only changes in habitat area may be inadequate, as management practices or protection can significantly change structural characteristics that are critical for species of concern, even while leaving the total habitat area constant (McIntyre and Wiens, 1999; McAlpine and Eyre, 2002; Lindborg and Eriksson, 2004; Dufour et al., 2006; Joppa et al., 2008). ...
... This creates barriers for dispersal and effectively isolates populations in the park by an inhospitable barrier. Species loss can occur even if the habitat area and structure inside the protected area is improved (Wiersma et al., 2004; Wiersma and Simonson, 2010 ). The increase of anthropogenic utilizations outside the protected area boundaries can also cause species loss inside boundaries (Parks and Harcourt, 2002; DeFries et al., 2005 ). ...
... showed that human activity is the principal agent of land-cover change and that natural resources such as water and wildlife habitat are exposed to more pollution as population increases. Higher population causes overloading of nutrients and organic matter, the influx of pathogens, and the accumulation of chemical contaminants (Kennish 2002, Wiersma 2004. ...
... Wickham et al. (2000) found that population size serves as an effective measure of human activity, and that human activity is the principle agent of landscape change, which is the principle environmental threat in the mid-Atlantic states. It has also been shown that population size is responsible for species loss in streams around state parks (Wiersma et al. 2004). ...
... Recent investigations into the relationships between SFM and associated stakeholders have revealed several important challenges that require identification, discussion, and understanding, failing which they might become sources of tension. These include using consistent language for forest values and management paradigms by the SFM and protected area sector ( Duinker et al. 2010), identifying overlapping SFM and nature protection activities, respecting appropriate jurisdictional authority ( Wiersma et al. 2010), understanding the impact of management decisions across jurisdictional boundaries (e.g., Wiersma et al. 2004; Waskesiu Community Council 2007; National Park Service 2009), incorporating research about collaboration ( Wiersma et al. 2010), understanding the benefits and concerns of forest certification schemes (Gullison 2003;Tikina and Innes 2008;Putz and Romero 2001), and determining the role of benchmarks in evaluating change (Arcese and Sinclair 1997; Davis et al. 2004;Hvenegaard et al. 2009). Additional research is needed to further examine these challenges, in the context of impacts, management options, and criteria for success. ...
... The ability of a protected area to support breeding predators through successive cycles depends mostly on the survival of sufficient individuals moving around the large regions outside the protected area, and the probability that some of those individuals will find the next irruption of lemmings within the protected area. Wiersma et al. (2004) have similarly concluded that the strongest determinant of continued mammal population viability within Canadian national parks is the extent of high quality habitat around the parks. ...
... La seconde est d'éliminer ou de réduire l'influence négative des activités qui occurrent dans les zones avoisinantes (i.e., Batisse 1997;Gurd et al. 2001;Shafer 1999Shafer , 1995Thorell and Götmark 2005). Il importe donc de considérer ces zones périphériques dans la planification et la gestion des aires de conservation afin d'assurer que les aires puissent remplir les fonctions de conservation pour lesquelles elles ont été désignées (Rivard et al. 2000;Smith 2003;Wiersma et al. 2004;Woodroffe and Ginsberg 1998). ...
Technical Report
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La gestion des aires protégées à l’échelle du paysage implique qu’on doive tenir compte non seulement des superficies protégées mais aussi du contexte spatial dans lequel elles s’inscrivent. Les zones périphériques aux aires protégées peuvent jouer un rôle important en conservation en augmentant la superficie d’habitats disponibles dans un paysage, en servant de source d’immigration et de corridors vers les réserves, et en contribuant à réduire de façon générale les impacts négatifs de certaines utilisations du sol sur l’intégrité des écosystèmes. Ces fonctions sont encore plus critiques quand les aires protégées sont de faible superficie. Il importe donc de considérer ces zones dans la planification et la gestion des aires de conservation afin d’assurer que ces dernières puissent remplir les fonctions pour lesquelles on les a désignées. Au Québec, huit Réserves Nationales de Faune (RNF) ont été établies depuis 1969 et quatre d’entre elles sont situées dans un contexte où les pressions périphériques pourraient compromettre le maintien de leur intégrité écologique (Lac Saint-François, Cap Tourmente, Baie de l’Isle-Verte, Pointe-au-Père). L’objectif principal de cette étude a donc été de quantifier les changements dans les couvertures/utilisations du sol (C/US) survenus à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de ces quatre RNF depuis leur acquisition, en portant une attention particulière aux pressions périphériques. Des photographies aériennes (1/15 000 - 1/16 000), interprétées par le SCF, ont été intégrées à un SIG. Des matrices de transition ont été produites après correction des cartes de C/US pour 12 classes de C/US ainsi que pour les éléments linéaires (haies arborées, bandes riveraines, etc.), à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de chacune des réserves. Nous avons aussi calculé 5 indices paysagers ainsi que des fonctions de connectivité afin de quantifier les changements non seulement dans la composition mais aussi dans la structure spatiale de tout le paysage (réserve + zones périphériques). Ces indices paysagers pourraient être associés à des processus écologiques qui ont une incidence sur la distribution et le mouvement des espèces (augmentation des effets de lisière, réduction de la taille des parcelles d’habitats, etc.) Nos résultats montrent des dynamiques variables caractérisées par l’intensification marquée des pratiques agricoles (Lac Saint-François, Cap Tourmente, Île Verte), ou des pressions d’urbanisation en périphérie (Pointe-au-Père), une augmentation des structures linéaires (haies, mais aussi fossés de drainage et routes), des changements dans la structure spatiale des marais, et une augmentation des zones de marécage. Cette information pourra servir à évaluer et à orienter plus efficacement les efforts de conservation et les activités de recherche qui supportent ces efforts. En particulier, elles pourraient servir de base à des analyses plus ciblées permettant de prédire la réponse des espèces aux changements observés, d’identifier des zones à risque ou critiques pour la conservation et finalement de coordonner les efforts de gestion à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des réserves.
... Landscape metrics representing the spatial structure of landscapes in a quantitative manner are also used to assess conservation efficiency. The patchy structure reflected by a set of adequate indices may be treated as an indicator of the functioning of different ecosystems (Aragon et al., 2011;Ferguson, 1996;Yeha and Huang, 2009), as well as ecological stability and diversity (Hess et al., 2006;Lombard et al., 2003;Saveraid et al., 2001;Wiersma et al., 2004). The number, area, shape, and edge metrics suggest the level of anthropogenic transformation. ...
... The response of species to an overall reduction in habitat or loss of special habitats, like summer or winter range, can include reductions in distribution and abundance, and changes in behavior, physiological state, or vital rates. Simple measures of habitat area may seem crude, but Wiersma et al. (2004) found that the area of effective habitat within a park had the greatest support from a broad range of variables for accounting for the loss of species within a set of 24 Canadian parks. It is important to remember that overall habitat area is perhaps the most fundamental characteristic of landscape pattern. ...
... For example, clusters 2.2 and 4.5 concern about detecting and quantifying LUCC and are adjacent to cluster 1.1 which focuses on technical issues of land use/cover classification. Clusters 2.1 and 4.4 are related to modeling of LUCC and its effect on ecological processes and habitats 21,22 and are adjacent to cluster 3.X that involves models. Clusters 2.X and 4.X are also different in two ways. ...
Article
Land use/cover change (LUCC) has emerged in the research agenda on global environmental change since the mid-1970s. Considerable progress has been made in LUCC related studies and these research efforts have generated numerous peer-reviewed papers. Because land use dynamics has also been identified as one of the grand challenges of the next generation in environmental sciences, it is important to understand the structure and development of the LUCC research activities. In this study, self-organizing map, a data mining tool that excels in presenting similarities of data based on data contents, is used to visualize the LUCC research activities. We analyze abstracts and introductions of the peer-review journal articles from selected journals. More than 600 articles with land use or land cover in their titles or keywords are included in the analysis. Keywords of the articles, representing different LUCC research topics, are compiled, and the frequencies of these keywords in the articles are counted. The results are presented in map-like displays to illustrate LUCC research activities. A total of eight main research clusters are identified and the research activities within each cluster are discussed.
... Nine protected areas in eastern North America exceeded the 5037 km 2 size threshold of the latter study (Gurd et al. 2001). However, Wiersma et al. (2004) suggested that PPAs as small as 3140 km 2 may maintain mammal assemblages, provided that they are situated within an additional 18 000 km 2 of suitable habitat. Although the largest PPA in the boreal zone is more than 50 000 km 2 (Wood Buffalo National Park and adjacent protected lands), few others currently meet the size requirements of large mammals established by these studies. ...
Article
Boreal forests maintain regionally important biodiversity and globally important ecosystem services, such as carbon storage and freshwater resources. Many boreal systems have limited anthropogenic disturbances and are preserved, in effect, to date largely by their harsh climates and remoteness. As of 2011, almost 10% of Canada is subject to some manner of formal protection, with 4.5% of this protected area found within the boreal zone. The management of existing parks and protected areas (PPAs) is shared amongst many federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions. Although there are currently low levels of anthropogenic development in some portions of the boreal zone (especially the north), if expansion of protected areas is of interest, there are challenges to traditional PPA networks that may be more prominent in the boreal zone than elsewhere: (1) the boreal zone is home to charismatic mammal species with area requirements much larger than typical PPAs; (2) the boreal zone is characterized by natural disturbance regimes that impact large areas; and (3) projected changes to climate for the boreal zone are among the greatest in the world, creating temporal considerations for conservation planning exercises. There is currently no PPA assessment specific to boreal Canada. To address this lack of an assessment, we developed a conservation gap analysis of the current PPA system with respect to a variety of environmental surrogates (ecozones, land cover, vegetation productivity, and landscape structure). The amount of formally protected land varied within each surrogate, with few commonly reported features meeting national or international conservation targets. Furthermore, few reserves met the areal requirements that have been previously recommended to protect large mammals or accommodate the disturbance regimes present. We also discuss considerations and implications of area-based versus value-based protection objectives. While recognizing that there are still scientific challenges around understanding and evaluating the effectiveness of PPAs, based upon our review and assessment, the following considerations should inform conservation options for the boreal zone: (1) representation of the distribution of natural features within the PPA network; (2) effective maintenance of habitat requirements and spatial resilience to both cyclical and directional changes in spatial patterns through large, connected reserves; and (3) implementation of sustainable forest management practices (where applicable) throughout the broader landscape, as traditional on-reserve protection is unlikely to be sufficient to meet conservation goals. The Canadian boreal is unique in possessing large tracts of inaccessible forested lands that are not subject to management interventions, thereby offering functions similar to protected lands. The question of how to more formally integrate these lands into the existing PPA network requires further consideration. Further, the important temporal role of landscape dynamics in designing an effective PPA needs to be further studied as well as development of a better understanding of design needs in the context of a changing climate.
... Newmark 1995;Gurd et al. 2001). Furthermore, that the persistence of species will be greatly infl uenced by the combined area of habitats within and surrounding reserves (Wiersma et al. 2004). This highlights two key points. ...
Article
How we manage National Parks (protected areas or reserves) for their biodiversity is an issue of current debate. At the centre of this issue is the role of ecological research and its ability to guide reserve management. One may assume that ecological science has sufficient theory and empirical evidence to offer a prescription of how reserves should be managed. I use Royal National Park (Royal NP) as a case study to examine how ecological science should be used to inform biodiversity conservation. Ecological research relating to reserve management can be: i) of generic application to reserve management, ii) specific to the reserve in which it is conducted, and iii) conducted elsewhere but be of relevance due to the circumstances (e. g. species) of another reserve. I outline how such research can be used to inform management actions within Royal NP. I also highlight three big challenges for biodiversity management in Royal NP: i) habitat connectivity, ii) habitat degradation and iii) fire management. A key issue for local managers is finding a mechanism to enable their management to be informed by ecological research in their Park in an ongoing way and to be able to encourage further research. If resolved, Royal NP could provide a model to be used by other protected areas.
... Recent investigations into the relationships between SFM and associated stakeholders have revealed several important challenges that require identification, discussion, and understanding, failing which they might become sources of tension. These include using consistent language for forest values and management paradigms by the SFM and protected area sector , identifying overlapping SFM and nature protection activities, respecting appropriate jurisdictional authority , understanding the impact of management decisions across jurisdictional boundaries (e.g., Wiersma et al. 2004;Waskesiu Community Council 2007;National Park Service 2009), incorporating research about collaboration , understanding the benefits and concerns of forest certification schemes (Gullison 2003;Tikina and Innes 2008;Putz and Romero 2001), and determining the role of benchmarks in evaluating change (Arcese and Sinclair 1997;Davis et al. 2004;Hvenegaard et al. 2009). Additional research is needed to further examine these challenges, in the context of impacts, management options, and criteria for success. ...
Article
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Model Forests are partnerships for shared decision-making to support social, environmental, and economic sustainability in forest management. Relationships among sustainable forest management partners are often strained, but the Prince Albert Model Forest (PAMF) represents a process of effective stakeholder involvement, cooperative relationships, visionary planning, and regional landscape management. This article seeks to critically examine the history, drivers, accomplishments, and challenges associated with the PAMF. Four key phases are discussed, representing different funding levels, planning processes, research projects, and partners. Key drivers in the PAMF were funding, urgent issues, provincial responsibility, core of committed people, evolving governance, desire for a neutral organisation, role of protected areas, and potential for mutual benefits. The stakeholders involved in the Model Forest, including the forest industry and associated groups, protected areas, Aboriginal groups, local communities, governments, and research groups, were committed to the project, cooperated on many joint activities, provided significant staffing and financial resources, and gained many benefits to their own organisations. Challenges included declining funding, changing administrative structures, multiple partners, and rotating representatives. The PAMF process promoted consultative and integrated land resource management in the region, and demonstrated the positive results of cooperation between stakeholders interested in sustainable forest management.
... Human land use inside protected areas has increased worldwide (Geldmann et al. 2019) but anthropogenic activities are typically less inside larger protected areas (Wiersma et al. 2004). Hunting, recreation and anthropogenic modifications of the fire regime are threats to protected area effectiveness (Schulze et al. 2018). ...
Article
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Area-based conservation is essential to safeguard nature’s diversity. In view of expanding human land use, increasing climate change and unmet conservation targets, area-based conservation requires efficiency and effectiveness more than ever. In this review, I identify and relate pressing challenges to promising opportunities for effective and efficient protected area governance and management, to enhance research, decision-making and capacity building in area-based conservation under uncertain future developments. I reveal that protected area management is particularly challenged by human land use, climate change, invasive species, and social, political and economic limitations. Protected area management often lacks the continuous availability of data on current states and trends of nature and threats. Biocultural conservation, climate-smart management and biosecurity approaches help to overcome challenges induced by human needs, climate change and invasive species, respectively. Economic valuation and shifts in funding priorities can boost protected area effectiveness and efficiency. In-situ monitoring techniques, remote sensing and open data infrastructures can fill data and information gaps for protected area planning and management. Moreover, adaptive management is an auspicious concept in the framework of systematic conservation planning to ensure the enduring effectiveness of protected areas despite unpredictable future developments. Post-2020 international biodiversity and sustainable development goals could be met earlier if protected areas were more effective. I consequently conclude with the need for a global information system that is to support area-based conservation by synthesizing challenges and opportunities for protected area management effectiveness and efficiency at the local to global level.
... Human land use inside protected areas has increased worldwide (Geldmann et al. 2019) but anthropogenic activities are typically less inside larger protected areas (Wiersma et al. 2004). Hunting, recreation and anthropogenic modifications of the fire regime are threats to protected area effectiveness (Schulze et al. 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Area-based conservation is essential to safeguard nature’s diversity. In view of expanding human land use, increasing climate change and unmet conservation targets, area-based conservation requires efficiency and effectiveness more than ever. In this review, I identify and relate pressing challenges to promising opportunities for effective and efficient protected area governance and management, to enhance research, decision-making and capacity building in area-based conservation under uncertain future developments. I reveal that protected area management is particularly challenged by human land use, climate change, invasive species, and social, political and economic limitations. Protected area management often lacks the continuous availability of data on current states and trends of nature and threats. Biocultural conservation, climate-smart management and biosecurity approaches help to overcome challenges induced by human needs, climate change and invasive species, respectively. Economic valuation and shifts in funding priorities can boost protected area effectiveness and efficiency. In-situ monitoring techniques, remote sensing and open data infrastructures can fill data and information gaps for protected area planning and management. Moreover, adaptive management is an auspicious concept in the framework of systematic conservation planning to ensure the enduring effectiveness of protected areas despite unpredictable future developments. Post-2020 international biodiversity and sustainable development goals could be met earlier if protected areas were more effective. I consequently conclude with the need for a global information system that is to support area-based conservation by synthesizing challenges and opportunities for protected area management effectiveness and efficiency at the local to global level.
... We assume this scale dependence can be accounted for by choosing a spatial grain deemed large enough for persistence, i.e. our results provide an ecologically motivated scale for which caribou might act as a focal species for other taxa. This assumption is based on the ecological rationale for our planning unit size, i.e. it is larger than the area required for a reserve to not 'lose' mammal species due to habitat insularization in eastern Canada (2700 km 2 ; Gurd et al., 2001), the minimum size of effective reserves across Canada (3140 km 2 ; Wiersma et al., 2004) or the estimated minimum dynamic area for spruce forests in northwest Canada (3407 km 2 ; Leroux et al., 2007). Second, species richness does not necessarily capture the full biodiversity of any given area. ...
Article
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Understanding how conservation of woodland caribou, an at-risk species for which large undisturbed areas are often proposed to maintain viable populations, can contribute to conservation of boreal biodiversity is an important consideration for an ecosystem warming at twice the global average and experiencing rapid resource development. We assess the focal or 'umbrella' value of the boreal population of woodland caribou for conservation of mammalian and avian richness (n = 432) in the boreal region of Canada by (i) evaluating co-occurrence of caribou distribution with that of boreal mammals (n = 102), birds (n = 330), at-risk mammals (n = 11) and at-risk birds (n = 47); and (ii) conducting systematic conservation planning using MARXAN software to identify minimum representative and complementary reserve networks, comprised of planning units deemed large enough (10,000 km 2) for persistence of terrestrial wildlife, both at the extent of boreal caribou distribution and the entire boreal region. While boreal caribou overlap with the range of 90% of boreal birds and mammals, area-efficient networks representative of boreal diversity focus on species-rich areas south of caribou distribution and other areas that contain relatively small-ranged species. A similar pattern occurs when the MARXAN analysis focused only on caribou distribution, i.e. representative networks are preferentially located on southern herd ranges. However, this situation differs markedly to include large areas within the distribution of caribou if anthropogenic footprint on the landscape is considered as a constraint on reserve design. Efforts to sustain boreal caribou offer considerable opportunities to conserve diversity of co-occurring mammals and birds, including areas of the relatively more disturbed caribou southern ranges that have irreplaceable value in an efficient and representative pan-boreal network of reserves. The high focal value of boreal caribou for animal diversity should be considered when making decisions and policy choices about how to best allocate conservation efforts across its extensive distribution.
... Because landscape disturbances can affect a broad range of natural resources, being cognizant of what is happening in the Chequamegon Bay region will help inform resource managers at the park about pressures affecting the areas under their jurisdiction. Although APIS is comprised largely of islands, it can still be affected by its surrounding environs (Hansen and Rotella 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004, DeFries et al. 2007). The loss of roadless areas and increased fragmentation along shoreline areas on the Bayfield Peninsula may affect the abundance and movement patterns of species of interest within the park, and may contribute to the spread of both aquatic and terrestrial exotic species. ...
Technical Report
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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (APIS) is composed of a group of 21 islands in western Lake Superior and part of the Bayfield Peninsula of northern Wisconsin. Disturbances, or distinct changes in vegetation cover, are an important part of how this ecosystem functions. Monitoring these disturbances through time will provide information regarding historic disturbance regimes compared to present and future conditions and trends. For this analysis, disturbances in and around APIS were delineated for six years, 2004-2009, using a combination of Landsat satellite imagery and high resolution aerial photos. We employed a set of computer algorithms, collectively known as LandTrendr, in conjunction with a dense time series of Landsat imagery (one set for each year) to track vegetation changes in and around the park. LandTrendr was used to identify apparent disturbances, after which high resolution imagery (airphotos) was used for photo interpretation to substantiate evidence of a disturbance, and hence, validate whether the disturbance occurred. For each validated disturbance, we identified the agent of change (fire, forest harvest, development, flooding due to beaver activity, and blowdowns) in addition to the year of occurrence, and starting and ending vegetation classes. Summary analyses showed that disturbances outside the park were dominated by forest harvest and development, while inside the park disturbances were caused primarily by beavers and forest pathogens, and to a lesser degree – development.
... Because landscape disturbances can affect a broad range of natural resources, being cognizant of what is happening in parts of the Mississippi River basin will help inform resource managers at the park about pressures affecting the areas under their jurisdiction. Given the location of the park and because it is a corridor park, it is especially vulnerable to the effects of adjacent landowners (Hansen and Rotella 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004, DeFries et al. 2007). ...
Technical Report
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The Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network (GLKN) implemented the long-term disturbance monitoring protocol at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS). Disturbances, or distinct changes in vegetation cover, are an important part of how this riverine system functions. Monitoring disturbances in and around parks provides information to mitigate negative impacts of internal and external threats to park resources. For this analysis, disturbances in and around MISS were delineated for six years (2005-2010), using a combination of Landsat satellite imagery and high resolution aerial photos. We employed a set of computer algorithms, collectively known as LandTrendr, in conjunction with a dense time series of Landsat imagery (one set for each year) to track vegetation changes in and around the park. LandTrendr was used to identify apparent disturbances, after which high resolution imagery (airphotos) was used to substantiate evidence of a disturbance, and hence, validate whether the disturbance occurred. For each validated disturbance, we identified the agent of change (fire, forest harvest, development, agricultural use, and blowdowns) in addition to the year of occurrence, and pre- and post- disturbance vegetation classes. Summary analyses showed that disturbances inside and outside the park were dominated by development, with small amounts of agricultural use and forest harvests occurring outside the park.
... Because landscape disturbances can affect a broad range of natural resources, being cognizant of what is happening in parts of the Mississippi River basin will help inform resource managers at the park about pressures affecting the areas under their jurisdiction. Given the location of the park and because it is a corridor park, it is especially vulnerable to the effects of adjacent landowners (Hansen and Rotella 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004, DeFries et al. 2007). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network (GLKN) implemented the long-term disturbance monitoring protocol at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MISS). Disturbances, or distinct changes in vegetation cover, are an important part of how this riverine system functions. Monitoring disturbances in and around parks provides information to mitigate negative impacts of internal and external threats to park resources. For this analysis, disturbances in and around MISS were delineated for six years (2005-2010), using a combination of Landsat satellite imagery and high resolution aerial photos. We employed a set of computer algorithms, collectively known as LandTrendr, in conjunction with a dense time series of Landsat imagery (one set for each year) to track vegetation changes in and around the park. LandTrendr was used to identify apparent disturbances, after which high resolution imagery (airphotos) was used to substantiate evidence of a disturbance, and hence, validate whether the disturbance occurred. For each validated disturbance, we identified the agent of change (fire, forest harvest, development, agricultural use, and blowdowns) in addition to the year of occurrence, and pre- and post- disturbance vegetation classes. Summary analyses showed that disturbances inside and outside the park were dominated by development, with small amounts of agricultural use and forest harvests occurring outside the park.
... Because landscape disturbances can affect a broad range of natural resources, being cognizant of what is happening in parts of the Saint Croix river basin will help inform resource managers at the park about pressures affecting the areas under their jurisdiction. Given the location of the park and because it is a corridor park, it is especially vulnerable to the effects of landowners surrounding the park (Hansen and Rotella 2002, Wiersma et al. 2004, DeFries et al. 2007). The loss of roadless areas and increased fragmentation in the northern portions of the park may affect the abundance and movement patterns of species of interest within the park, and may contribute to the spread of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species. ...
Technical Report
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Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (SACN) is a long, narrow corridor starting in northwestern Wisconsin and ending in west central Wisconsin/east central Minnesota. Disturbances, or distinct changes in vegetation cover, are important drivers shaping ecosystem structure and function. Monitoring these disturbances through time will provide information regarding historic disturbance regimes compared to present and future conditions and trends. For this analysis, disturbances in and around SACN were delineated for six years, 2005-2010, using a combination of Landsat satellite imagery and high resolution aerial photos. We employed a set of computer algorithms, collectively known as LandTrendr, in conjunction with a dense time series of Landsat imagery (one set for each year) to track vegetation changes in and around the park. LandTrendr was used to identify apparent disturbances, after which high resolution imagery (airphotos) was used for photo interpretation to substantiate evidence of a disturbance, and hence, validate whether the disturbance occurred. For each validated disturbance, we identified the agent of change (fire, forest harvest, development, flooding due to beaver activity, and blowdowns) in addition to the year of occurrence, and starting and ending vegetation classes. Summary analyses showed that disturbances outside the park were dominated by forest harvest and development, while inside the park disturbances were caused primarily by forest harvest, fire, forest pathogens, and to a lesser degree, development.
... The human land use density is typically lower inside larger protected areas (Wiersma et al., 2004). Human land use induces habitat fragmentation, which prevents species dispersal, splits populations, increases extinction threat and supports invasive species (Wilson et al., 2016). ...
Thesis
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The Anthropocene is characterised by unprecedented declines in nature causing the sixth mass extinction event in earth history. The main drivers of these immense deteriorations are human land use and anthropogenic climate change. A dilemma evolves because human welfare depends on the conservation of nature’s integrity. We profit from ecosystem functioning, goods and services, which are based on biodiversity. Moreover, species have the right to exist independent of their use for us. The use and existence values of nature motivate nature conservation. Global biodiversity hotspots are in focus of international conservation as they contain a rich inventory of species. Inventory diversity is, nevertheless, only one of three broad categories classifying diversity indices. Other diversity metrics that offer complementary information refer to differentiation or proportional diversity, and account for the dissimilarity between species assemblages. Effective biodiversity conservation contemplates multiple measures of species diversity as well as threats to biodiversity. Anthropogenic climate change is a major threat to biodiversity that inevitably affects the entire global land in multiple ways, not only hotspots of species diversity. The change in the magnitude, timing, position and availability of climate conditions exerts influence on the demography, phenology and range of species, with unknown consequences for ecosystems worldwide. Therefore, biodiversity conservation must be applied to large geographical extents, which is the foundation of conservation biogeography. Conservation biogeographers investigate protected areas as major tools to protect biodiversity because a high degree of biodiversity can hardly exist in unprotected landscapes that are intensively used by humans. Approximately 15% of global land is covered by protected areas. To overcome the many challenges emerging from anthropogenic pressures, protected areas need efficient and effective planning and management. Such planning and management often lacks the continuous availability of data on current states and trends of nature and threats, which can be delivered by in-situ monitoring, remote sensing and open data infrastructures. Since resources for planning and management are limited, conservationists prioritise conservation targets. Given the rising importance of protected areas owing to expanding human land use and increasing climate change, I address the effectiveness and efficiency of terrestrial protected areas in conserving biodiversity under anthropogenic threats through the six manuscripts of this thesis. I assign each manuscript to the scientific modules of an adaptive protected area management cycle. Adaptive protected area management is an auspicious concept to ensure the enduring effectiveness of protected areas under uncertain future developments. My manuscripts provide missing scientific foundations of adaptive protected area management. In Manuscript 1, I present a comprehensive quantification of the diversity of the European Union’s priority species within major protected areas in the European Union. This quantification of inventory, differentiation and proportional diversity informs protected area management of manifold metrics of species diversity to increase protected area management effectiveness from the local to the European extent. In Manuscript 2, I prove to what degree remote sensing signals (i.e. airborne Light Detection and Ranging data, and a time series of multispectral Sentinel-2 data) reflect the compositional dissimilarity of perennial plant communities on the protected island of La Palma, Canary Islands. This study fosters efficient monitoring of differentiation diversity by remote sensing techniques. Monitoring of the biotic and abiotic environment is a scientific prerequisite of adaptive protected area management. In Manuscript 3, I developed a method to optimise in-situ surveys of biodiversity, i.e. to maximise information content and minimise sampling effort. This approach enhances the efficiency of in-situ surveys, which is required under limited management resources, such as time and funds. As a case study, I analysed the inventory diversity of alpine grassland in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy. I supply the data on this threatened vegetation type in an open data paper (Manuscript 4). Moreover, I show predicted changes in the availability of climate conditions (Manuscript 5) and the predicted magnitude of climate change (Manuscript 6) within the global terrestrial protected area estate for two alternative climate change scenarios in the year 2070. These two studies inform protected area management worldwide of the climate change impacts on biodiversity, to sustain protected area management effectiveness from the local to global extent. In addition, I aim at spreading this conservation-minded knowledge and data by providing open-source software and open data, and by open-access publishing. Consequently, this thesis advances the effectiveness and efficiency of protected areas in biodiversity conservation, mediated through adaptive protected area management. Filling biogeographical knowledge gaps, improving biogeographical forecasts and promoting biodiversity conservation by communicating research are permanent tasks for conservation biogeographers. The global biodiversity crisis can be solved by local conservation strategies worldwide that are internationally coordinated. Eventually, I consider the development of a global adaptive protected area management system the most favourable future perspective in conservation biogeography to stop nature’s declines and guarantee a sustainable future for the welfare of generations to come.
... Woolmer et al. (2008) found that adapting the Global Human Footprint to account for locally available, finer resolution geospatial data improved the utility of the Human Footprint for regional conservation planning. Similarly, Wiersma et al. (2004) employed a graduated buffer protocol to approximate the ecological effects of anthropogenic infrastructure, and Wiersma and Simonson (2010) showed that variation in buffers did not significantly change the interpretation of ecological effects. Guided by the human influence scoring framework detailed in Woolmer et al. (2008), we placed a 5-km buffer around the open pits, a 1-km buffer around the major roads, and a 500-m buffer around the cutlines, the abandoned rail track, and the local trails. ...
Article
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This study investigates land cover change near the abandoned Pine Point Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Industrial mineral development transforms local environments, and the effects of such disturbances are often long-lasting, particularly in subarctic, boreal environments where vegetation conversion can take decades. Located in the Boreal Plains Ecozone, the Pine Point Mine was an extensive open pit operation that underwent little reclamation when it shut down in 1988. We apply remote sensing and landscape ecology methods to quantify land cover change in the 20 years following the mine’s closure. Using a time series of near-anniversary Landsat images, we performed a supervised classification to differentiate seven land cover classes. We used raster algebra and landscape metrics to track changes in land cover composition and configuration in the 20 years since the mine shut down. We compared our results with a site in Wood Buffalo National Park that was never subjected to extensive anthropogenic disturbance. This space-for-time substitution provided an analog for how the ecosystem in the Pine Point region might have developed in the absence of industrial mineral development. We found that the dense conifer class was dominant in the park and exhibited larger and more contiguous patches than at the mine site. Bare land at the mine site showed little conversion through time. While the combination of raster algebra and landscape metrics allowed us to track broad changes in land cover composition and configuration, improved access to affordable, high-resolution imagery is necessary to effectively monitor land cover dynamics at abandoned mines.
... Results from our analysis can be used to help identify key regions to build clusters of effective habitat (Wiersma and Simonson 2010;Wiersma et al. 2004). Traditional government led protected areas can play and important role in these ecoregions but will need to be supported by Privately Protected Areas and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures, including conservation management agreements with landowners to maintain and restore biodiversity. ...
Article
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Identifying and protecting key areas for biodiversity is a cornerstone of effective nature conservation. This conservation assessment analyzes 77 ecoregions across the southern, settled part of Canada to identify priorities for conservation action. Our analysis included 34 measures of biodiversity, threat and conservation response. We categorized all ecoregions based on their overall biodiversity and threat scores. This categorization identified nine “crisis ecoregions.” These ecoregions have higher biodiversity and threat scores compared to other ecoregions in the study area. These ecoregions represent less than 5% of Canadian lands and inland waters but provide habitat for over 60% of Canada’s species at risk. Twenty-one ecoregions have higher biodiversity but lower threat scores. Primarily distributed in the more intact portions of the study area, these ecoregions generally have lower biodiversity scores for species diversity, but score very high for intactness, habitat diversity and congregatory species. This assessment can help to contextualize existing and proposed conservation actions by highlighting key biodiversity, threat and conservation attributes of ecoregions across southern Canada. Our assessment can be used to focus efforts on new protected areas, species at risk recovery, capacity building and ecological monitoring. The results of the conservation assessment can be applied to set and track progress toward national, regional and organizational conservation goals, including post-2020 biodiversity targets. Regular reanalysis of the ecoregions to track their trends in biodiversity, threat and conservation responses will support monitoring the effectiveness of conservation programs and highlight ecoregions where continued focus is most needed to conserve Canada’s biodiversity.
... Lindenmayer and Fischer, 2006;Shackelford et al., 2017;Fisher and Burton, 2018). Such contrast in species responses has been used to group species into disturbance-sensitive and disturbance-tolerant groups (Glenn and Nudds, 1989;Wiersma et al., 2004;Bayne et al., 2011;Estes et al., 2011). Indeed, when considering only the strong responses to footprint, coyote and white-tailed deer had consistently positive associations, while Canada lynx and gray wolf had negative associations (except for seismic lines for gray wolf). ...
Article
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... Closing yield gaps in areas of food insecurity, or areas with high rural populations and low rural incomes, might be vital for reducing pressures on natural habitats, and data on human populations in the buffer zones of protected areas might be an important predictor of the effectiveness of protected area (Wiersma et al., 2004). We did not use any sociological or economic data sets in searching for hotspots of conservation conflict. ...
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Appendix S1 Supporting methods.
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The issue of calcium (Ca) decline in surface waters of eastern Canada is an emerging concern that may be made worse by timber harvesting. In the Muskoka River Watershed (MRW) in Ontario, the mean lake Ca concentration in 104 lakes decreased by 30% since the 1980s, with the rate of decrease slowing over time consistent with changes in lake sulfate (SO4) as the region recovers from acid deposition. Recent data suggested that smaller lakes, at higher elevation, in smaller catchments with higher runoff that are minimally impacted by the influence of roads and agriculture are associated with lower Ca concentrations and thus are the lakes most at risk of amplified Ca depletion. Using proposed annual allowable harvest cuts from 10-year forest management plans, 38% of 364 lakes assessed in theMRWwill fall below a reported critical 1 mg・L-1 Ca threshold compared with just 8% in the absence of future harvesting. It is concluded that Ca decline poses a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems and should be taken into consideration in future forest management plans. © 2016, National Research Council of Canada. All Rights Reserved.
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Rare or endangered tree species are important components of forest ecosystems and play a crucial role in management and conservation. Understanding what influences their presence is critical for managers, conservationists and planners. This study presents results of a comprehensive inventory of the tree species and site characteristics in the Vietnamese Cat Ba National Park (CBNP). An adaptive cluster sampling technique was applied to study the effect of human disturbance, soil properties, and terrain conditions on the presence of IUCN Red List tree species (all individuals > 5 cm diameter at breast height) in three strictly protected areas in CBNP, which have varying levels of isolation. Data from 239 sample plots (500 m 2 each) were analyzed. Tree species recorded during the inventory were assigned to two categories: IUCN Red List and other. Our results showed that site characteristics differed in the three protected areas along with the presence of IUCN Red List tree species. IUCN Red List tree species were more frequently found on less favorable soils (low soil depth) and in terrain with more pronounced slopes and with a higher rock surface area (%). However, there is no indication from existing information on the autecology of the different Red List species that the site conditions hosting the species are the ones favored by the species, even on the contrary for some. Although direct signs of human activity (paths, animal traps) could not be related to the presence of Red List tree species, the data suggest that the accessibility of the sites is a strong negative driver for the presence of Red List tree species. We conclude that protection of the forests of the Cat Ba Island should be stricter to allow the IUCN Red List tree species to grow under more appropriate conditions, which then would allow studying their ecology in more detail. This would further allow deriving more precise recommendations for their future protection.
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Technical Report
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Résumé Le Service canadien de la faune d’Environnement Canada est propriétaire de 8 Réserves nationale de faune (RNF) au Québec. Ces réserves ont été désignées dans les années 1970-1980 dans le but de protéger des habitats spécifiques aux oiseaux migrateurs tels les grands milieux humides servant d’haltes migratoire et/ou d’aires de reproduction. Une analyse de la dynamique des habitats et du changement survenu à l’occupation du sol entre deux périodes temporelles a été récemment réalisée pour quatre RNF (Lac-Saint-François, Cap-Tourmente, Pointe-au-Père, Baie-de-L’Isle-Verte) (Maheu-Giroux et coll. 2006). La présente étude vise à réaliser une même analyse pour les quatre autres RNF, soit celles des Îles-de-la-Paix, des Îles-de-Contrecoeur, des Îles-de-l’Estuaire et de la Pointe-de-l’Est. Les périodes retenues correspondent sommairement aux années entourant ou précédant l’année de création des RNF (années 1960 et 1970) et aux données disponibles les plus récentes (années 1990 et 2000). La méthodologie utilisée varie en fonction des secteurs. Les RNF des Îles-de-la-Paix et des îles Contrecoeur ont été analysées selon une méthode traditionnelle de photo-interprétation de photographies aériennes papiers sur acétates. Les RNF des Îles-de-l’Estuaire et de la Pointe-de-l’Est ont été analysées suivant une méthode de segmentation et de classification d’image numérique. Une fois les polygones d’occupation du sol obtenus pour les deux périodes analysées dans chacune des RNF, des matrices de transition ont été calculées pour évaluer le changement d’occupation du sol. De plus, des indices paysagers ont été calculés pour évaluer le changement dans la structure et la configuration des habitats. Les résultats obtenus indiquent que les changements sont importants pour les milieux humides des RNF des Îles-de-la-Paix et des Îles-de-Contrecoeur. Ces changements sont principalement dus à des niveaux d’eau différents entre les deux périodes d’analyse en raison de régimes hydrologiques variables du fleuve (bas niveau d’eau en 1964, haut niveau d’eau en 1997) ainsi qu’à l’effet de l’érosion causée par les vagues et le batillage. Plusieurs marécages sont disparus et certaines îles ont pratiquement été éliminées de ces RNF. On observe un gain de l’urbanisation au dépend des terres agricoles, des friches et du milieu forestier de même qu’une conversion des cultures pérennes vers les cultures annuelles dans la zone périphérique des RNF des Îles-de-la-Paix et des Îles-de-Contrecoeur. De grands changements sont notés dans la couverture des milieux humides et des zones en eau libre à la RNF des Îles-de-l’Estuaire mais ces changements s’expliquent essentiellement par des photos prises alors que les marées étaient à des niveaux variables. Les habitats terrestres ont par ailleurs subi des changements importants sur quelques îles de la RNF des Îles-de-l’Estuaire alors que plusieurs secteurs des îles de Kamouraska (île Brulée, Grande Île), du Pot du Phare (île du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie) et de l’île Bicquette autrefois couverts en forêts sont maintenant couverts de végétation basse ou d’arbres et arbustes morts. La présence du Cormoran à aigrettes sur ces îles aurait contribué à dégrader le couvert forestier. On note par contre une couverture plus importante des arbres et arbustes sur l’île aux Fraises. Enfin, peu de changements sont survenus aux habitats dans la RNF de la Pointe-de-l’Est. Une érosion importante de la plage qui sépare l’étang de l’Est du golfe du Saint-Laurent est notée et sa disparition pourrait modifier grandement l’intégrité de plusieurs milieux humides de la RNF. De concert avec le rapport de Maheu-Giroux et coll. (2006), la présente étude complète un premier portrait visant à quantifier la dynamique des habitats de toutes les RNF situées au Québec. Ces informations forment l’assise sur laquelle un suivi régulier des habitats situés dans les RNF et dans les zones périphériques peut être bâti au moyen d’une analyse de l’occupation du sol à intervalle régulier (10-15 ans). Abstract The Canadian Wildlife Service owns and manages 8 National Wildlife Areas (NWA) in Québec. These NWA were designated in the 70s and 80s to protect key habitats for migratory birds, especially wetlands used for breeding and staging areas. Habitat dynamics and land cover changes have recently been analyzed between two time periods for four NWA (Lac-Saint-François, Cap-Tourmente, Pointe-au-Père, Baie-de-L’Isle-Verte) (Maheu-Giroux et coll. 2006). The current study aims to realize a similar study of habitat dynamics for the remaining four NWA namely Îles-de-la-Paix, Îles-de-Contrecoeur, Îles-de-l’Estuaire, and Pointe-de-l’Est. The first time period covers the years when each NWA was designated or the years prior to the designation (60s and 70s) whereas the second time period was dictated by the most recent available air photo coverage (90s, 2000s). Methods used to analyse land cover changes differed amongst NWA. The Îles-de-la-Paix and Îles-de-Contrecoeur NWA were analyzed using traditional air photo interpretation with heads-up digitizing of habitat polygons traced onto transparencies overlaid on top of each photo. The Îles-de-l’Estuaire and Pointe-de-l’Est NWA were analyzed using an object-oriented segmentation and classification method of digital images. Transition matrices were computed to quantify directional changes of land cover classes and landscape metrics were computed to analyse habitat configuration and fragmentation. The two NWA located on small islands (Îles-de-la-Paix, Îles-de-Contrecoeur) have experienced major changes in wetland coverage. Observed changes are mainly related to changing water levels associated with different water regimes of the St. Lawrence River between the two time periods (low water level in 1964, high water level in 1997) and to shore bank erosion caused by waves actions from high winds and passing boats. Several swamps have disappeared and some islands have almost vanished from these NWA. Urban cover increased over agriculture areas, old fields and forests, and perennial crops were largely converted into annual crops on the mainland adjacent to the Îles-de-la-Paix and Îles-de-Contrecoeur NWA. Wetland habitats and open water coverage have experienced major changes within the Îles-de-l’Estuaire NWA but these changes are mainly related to differential tidal levels when air photos were taken. Terrestrial habitats have changed on several islands in the Îles-de-l’Estuaire NWA. Several forested areas on îles de Kamouraska (île Brulée, Grande Île), îles du Pot du Phare (île du Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie) and île Bicquette are now covered by low vegetation and dead trees and shrubs largely due to the presence of breeding Double-crested Cormorans on these islands. Shrub and tree cover has however increased on île aux Fraises. Land cover changes were minor in the Pointe-de-l’Est NWA. However, the erosion process affecting the sand bar that separates the étang de l’Est from the Gulf of St. Lawrence is severe and its disappearance could induce major effects on wetlands integrity in the NWA. In parallel with Maheu-Giroux et al. (2006), this study provides a full portrait of landscape dynamics and land cover changes for all NWA in Québec. Furthermore, this information forms the basis for the implementation of a long-term habitat monitoring program within NWA and for adjacent areas with regular updates of land cover and land use of these areas at regular intervals (10-15 years).
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Small reserves are especially likely to lose species. Is that because the reserves are small, or because small reserves are located in especially adverse landscapes? It seems that the question has rarely, if ever, been asked. Data on reserve size and location in Africa, and calculations of local (within 50 km) mean human densities from available census records per province per country were the database here used to answer the question. IUCN grade I and II reserves in Africa are located across the range of human densities per country, including in regions of higher than average density. Furthermore reserve size correlates with local human density, such that small reserves are indeed significantly more likely than are large reserves to be located in regions of high human density (n = 169; P < 0.0001). However, while local human density correlates significantly with human-caused mortality of carnivores (the only taxon for which we had data), it does not correlate with detected extinctions in reserves in east Africa (the only region with available data). Rather, area of reserve is the main predictor. Nevertheless, abundant other evidence of the adverse effects of high human density on persistence of species and wilderness indicates that we need to take as a warning the findings reported here that small reserves occur in regions of high human density, and that human density correlates with human-caused mortality. They indicate that small reserves might face the double jeopardy of both their small size, and also their situation in especially hostile surroundings. In effect, small reserves are more isolated in more adverse habitat than current analyses in conservation biology, landscape ecology, or metapopulation analysis usually indicate.
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Island biogeography theory predicts that species will be lost on habitat “islands” created by the fragmentation of continental regions. Many Tanzanian parks are rapidly becoming habitat islands as a result of human settlement, agricultural development, and the active elimination of wildlife on adjacent lands. The rate of extinction of mammals in six Tanzanian parks over the last 35–83 years is significantly and inversely related to park area, suggesting that increasing insularization of the parks has been an important contributory factor in large mammal extinctions. I compared observed patterns of persistence of mammals in Tanzanian parks to predictions derived from earlier extinction models. The predictions of the S¹ models of Soulé et al. (1979) and Burkey (1994) and the S² and S³ models of Soulé et al. (1979) match very closely the observed pattern of persistence of mammals in Tanzanian parks. The loss of mammal species will probably continue, particularly in the smaller parks. Establishment of wildlife corridors linking the parks in northern Tanzania could help to reduce the potential loss of species in the future.
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Such studies should measure demographic traits before and after treatment in both the treated area (corridor created or destroyed) and an untreated area (habitat patches isolated from one another). This approach is superior to observing the demographic conditions in various landscapes because of the tendency for corridor presence to be correlated with other variables, such as patch size, that can confound the analysis. Second, observations of movements by naturally dispersing animals in fragmented landscapes can demonstrate the conservation value of corridors more convincingly than can controlled experiments on animal movement. Such field observations relate directly to the type of animals (e.g., dispersing juveniles of target species) and the real landscapes that are the subject of decisions about corridor preservation. Future observational studies of animal movements should attempt to detect extra-corridor movements and focus on fragmentation-sensitive species for which corridors are likely to be proposed. Fewer than half of the 32 studies we reviewed provided persuasive data regarding the utility of corridors; other studies were inconclusive, largely due to design flaws. The evidence from well-designed studies suggests that corridors are valuable conservation tools. Those who would destroy the last remnants of natural connectivity should bear the burden of proving that corridor destruction will not harm target populations. Proveen Conectividad los Corredores de Hábitat? Algunos escépticos han cuestionado la evidencia empírica de que los corredores proveen conectividad al paisaje. Otros han sugerido los peligros de los corredores. Revisamos estudios publicados que abordaron empíricamente si los corredores fomentan o disminuyen la viabilidad de poblaciones de especies en parches de hábitat conectados por corredores. A la fecha no se ha llevado a cabo un diseño experimental randomizado y con réplicas para realizar inferencias sobre el valor de los corresdores en la conservación—y nosotros argüímos que no es necesario. En cambio, los estudios pueden emplear análisis observacional o experimental de parámetros de poblaciones de interés o movimientos individuales de animales. Dos de estas aproximaciones son muy prometedoras y pueden progresar, especialmente si las limitantes de los estudios previos son remediadas. Primero, los experimentos que usan parámetros demográficos como variables dependientes—aún si no son replicados—pueden demostrar efectos demográficos de corredores en paisajes particulares. Estos estudios deberán medir características demográficas antes y después del tratamiento, tanto en el área tratada (corredor creado o destruído) como en un área no tratada (parches de hábitat aislados unos de otros). Esta aproximación es superior a observar las condiciones demográficas en varios paisajes puesto que la presencia de un corredor tiende a estar correlacionada con otras variables, como lo es el tamaño del parche lo que puede confundir el análisis. Segundo, las observaciones de movimientos de animales que se desplazan normalmente en paisajes fragmentados puede demostrar el valor de los corredores en la conservación de manera mas convincente que los experimentos controlados sobre animales en movimiento. Este tipo de observaciones de campo están directamente relacionades con el tipo de animal (e.g., juveniles de la especie de interés dispersándose) y con el tipo de paisajes que están sujetos a las decisiones de preservación de corredores. Los estudios observacionales de movimientos de animales a futuro deberán tratar de detectar movimientos extra-corredores y enfocarse a especies sensitivas a la fragmentación y para las cuales los corredores son factibles a ser propuestos. Menos de la mitad de los 32 estudios revisados provee datos persuasivos referentes a la utilidad de los corredores; otros estudios fueron inconclusos, mayormente debido a diseños defectuosos. Las evidencias de estudios bien diseñados sugieren que los corredores son herramientas valiosas de conservación. Aquellos que intentan destruir los últimos remanentes de conectividad natural deberían sustentarse demostrando que la destrucción de los corredores no afectará a poblaciones de interés.
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We examined quantitatively the interaction of reserve size and surrounding local human density in the United States and their relative effect on extinction of large mammals in 13 national parks of the western United States. Data on reserve size and human density were obtained from publicly available sources. Local human density was calculated as the mean density in the 50- or 100-km zone surrounding the reserves' borders. Reliable extinction data are extraordinarily hard to find. Using a variety of definitions of extinct, we collated information on extinctions of large mammals (>5 kg) that spanned the size of U.S. national parks as a whole. Human density surrounding reserves varies considerably. Overall, small reserves were in areas of higher human density than were large reserves (p < 0.0001, r ² = −0.24, n = 864; excluding Hawaii), and many of the small reserves were at higher local density than the mean for the contiguous United States. Extinction rates of large mammals correlate significantly with local human density, but not with park area. These findings together emphasize that (1) processes occurring outside of a reserve's boundary may unexpectedly strongly affect species within the reserve; (2) small reserves might suffer the double jeopardy of not only their size but also their situation in especially adverse surrounds; and thus (3) small reserves might suffer more intense edge effects and be more isolated than large reserves. If so, conservation workers need to incorporate the relationship into their models and management decisions.
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The biological reserves in the wheatbelt of Western Australia form islands of native vegetation in a sea of arable farmland. Subdivision of the species in three vertebrate taxa (mammals, passerine birds and lizards) into species retained only in reserves (u species) and those also surviving outside the reserves in disturbed areas (d species) show conflicting requirements for reserve area. In each taxon u species are lost disproportionately with a reduction in area. The d species are favoured by more smaller reserves while u species, those most in need of conservation, are favoured by larger reserves.
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Using range maps depicting mammal distributions in Canada prior to European settlement, species-area curves with confidence limits were constructed for each of six regions where species composition of mammals was faunistically homogeneous. The number of species in parks was compared to the number predicted to have been present in an area of equivalent size during the pre-settlement era. In the densely populated region comprising southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and the maritimes, and consistent with predictions from island biogeography theory, parks presently have fewer species that require undisturbed habitats than were predicted to have been present prior to settlement. The difference between the number of species observed and predicted is greater for small than large parks. In all other regions, most parks had the same or more species than predicted. It appears that greater numbers of species in some parks may be due either to alteration of habitats (e.g. fire suppression in prairie parks) or siting parks in species-rich areas.
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We give suggestions for the presentation of research results from frequentist, information-theoretic, and Bayesian analysis paradigms, followed by several general suggestions. The information-theoretic and Bayesian methods offer alternative approaches to data analysis and inference compared to traditionally used methods. Guidance is lacking on the presentation of results under these alternative procedures and on nontesting aspects of classical frequentist methods of statistical analysis. Null hypothesis testing has come under intense criticism. We recommend less reporting of the results of statistical tests of null hypotheses in cases where the null is surely false anyway, or where the null hypothesis is of little interest to science or management.
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Throughout its geographic range, the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) is rare and appears very similar in its foraging ecology to 2 broadly sympatric congeners, the three-toed (P. tridactylus) and hairy woodpecker (P. villosus). The purposes of our study were to test for differences in foraging ecology of the black-backed, three-toed, and hairy woodpeckers following a stand-replacement fire and to evaluate the importance of such fires to the viability of populations of the black-backed woodpecker. In boreal forests of Interior Alaska, endemic population densities of three-toed woodpeckers are low (
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This report describes a program, FRAGSTATS, developed to quantify landscape structure. Two separate versions of FRAGSTATS exist: one for vector images and one for raster images. In this report, each metric calculated by GRAGSTATS is described in terms of its ecological application and limitations. Example landscapes are included, and a discussion is provided of each metric as it relates to the sample landscapes. -from Authors
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This paper employs a branch of island biogeography theory to analyse and predict the extinction of species of large mammals in 19 nature reserves in East Africa. The assumptions of the analysis include (1) the dynamics of faunal collapse in East Africa will not be significantly different from the dynamics of extinction of large mammals on the islands of the Sunda Shelf, and (2) the absence of either destructive or supportive human intervention (benign neglect). The results may serve as a baseline against which conservationists can discuss various management approaches. We conclude that the pace of extinctions is inversely related to the size of the reserve, but that even the largest reserves would lose most of their large species in a few centuries.
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The geographical characteristics of a total of 1839 forest fragments surrounded by sugar cane fields were studied in the Brazilian Atlantic rain forest region of the northeastern state of Pernambuco. The size and shape of the fragments as well as inter-fragment distances and the effects of varying edge width were examined using a geographical information system. The analyses show that the fragments are relatively small and close to each other. Approximately 48% of the rain forest fragments are 100 hectares. Forest fragments are close to each other, as fragments located 50m or less apart formed groups that included ca. 50% of the total forest area. At 350m inter-fragment distance, 98% of the rain forest area was included in groups of fragments. Due to the small size and irregular shape of the fragments, the total area of edge zone exceeds that of the interior habitat when the edge width is ca. 60m. At an edge width of 300m ca. 94% of the total fragment area is edge zone. For conservation purposes, ways of establishing networks of forest fragments connected by corridors and stepping stone fragments are demonstrated using GIS. Simulations using these techniques show that reforestation of sugar cane fields between the forest fragments would considerably increase the area of interior forest habitat and connectivity between fragments.
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AimSome recent tests of faunal change in reserves have relied on, but been limited to, estimates of species richness from random samples of historic range maps. We evaluated a different, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based, approach to count species directly, as the latter method might facilitate rapid estimation of historic species richness as well as composition for samples of the same size, shape and exact location as present-day reserves.LocationNational parks throughout Canada.Methods Geographic Information System.ResultsThe GIS-based method tended to count, in exact locations of modern parks, fewer species (on average, seven disturbance intolerant and five disturbance tolerant) present historically than extrapolated from randomly sampled sites, but the differences were not greater than expected by chance. However, correlations between number of species lost and park size were weaker than reported previously, suggesting a greater potential for other factors to influence a change in species richness (and composition) than inferred earlier.Main conclusionsDirect counts of historic range maps using GIS tools provided a quick means to estimate site-specific historic species richness not statistically different from estimates produced by random sampling. As well, the GIS-based method could yield data about historic species composition for the specific location and size of modern reserves, which may be more ecologically meaningful in terms of assessing what factors may have contributed to the observed species losses.
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AimGlenn & Nudds (1989) compared mammal species richness in Canadian parks to estimated species-area relationships prior to European settlement to test if parks presently contain their historical compliment of species. However, the data they used to estimate the presettlement species-area relationships were not commensurate with the scale of the parks and were not independent. This uncertainty reduces the utility of Glenn and Nudds analysis to detect which, if any, parks are experiencing mammal extirpations and ultimately to direct conservation efforts to enhance mammal conservation in Canada. We improved Glenn and Nudds methods and re-assesed the conservation status of mammals in Canadian parks.
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Corridors for movement of organisms between refuges are confounded with corridors designed for other functions, obscuring an assessment of cost-effectiveness. The rationales for movement corridors are (1) to lower extinction rate in the sense of the equilibrium theory, (2) to lessen demographic stochasticity, (3) to stem inbreeding depression, and (4) to fulfill an inherent need for movement. There is a paucity of data showing how corridors are used and whether this use lessens extinction by solving these problems. Small, isolated populations need not be doomed to quick extinction from endogenous forces such as inbreeding depression or demographic stochasticity, if their habitats are protected from humans. In specific instances, corridors could have biological disadvantages. Corridor proposals cannot be adequately judged generically. In spite of weak theoretical and empirical bases, numerous movement corridor projects are planned. In the State of Florida, multi-million-dollar corridor proposals are unsupported by data on which species might use the corridors and to what effect. Similarly, plans for massive corridor networks to counter extinction caused by global warming are weakly supported. Alternative approaches not mutually exclusive of corridors might be more effective, but such a judgment cannot be made without a cost-benefit analysis.
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The popular strategy of connecting patches of otherwise isolated habitat is at the center of a major conservation debate. Many ecologists and conservation activists argue that such corridors are critical to maintaining biodiversity and could save many endangered species. But others counter that there is little evidence that animals need these corridors and that buying corridor land precludes spending money on more scientifically certain conservation efforts.
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We examined the dynamics of avian communities associated with fragmented grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, using long-term (1965-1995) raw (stop-level) data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Aerial photography was used to document changes in land cover type and landscape pattern as affected by woody plant (mostly Juniperus virginiana L.) encroachment and concurrent cropland conversions to agricultural grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Rank trend analysis identified species with significant population trends, and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to identify important environmental gradients from a group of descriptive habitat variables that included land cover type composition and indices of vegetation cover, landscape pattern, and grassland patch structure. Avian community structure shifted along gradients of increasing woody plant cover and indicators of continuing landscape fragmentation. Open-habitat generalists, woodland, and successional scrub species generally increased, whereas many grassland species decreased. In some instances, neotropical migrants responded positively to increasing woody vegetation. Some grassland birds also showed a positive response to increases in agricultural grassland, but only in areas of severe juniper encroachment. Most grassland species exhibited consistent declines related to the influx of woody vegetation and associated landscape changes. Woody plant encroachment into southern Great Plains grasslands already fragmented by agricultural activity represents a conservation management dilemma. Although woody vegetation in remnant native prairies may provide habitat for some declining neotropical migrants that require shrubby areas, grassland structure and suitability is compromised for many declining grassland-endemic birds. Cropland conversion to agricultural grassland does appear to provide suitable habitat for some grassland species. However, this benefit appears to be limited to areas where woody plant invasion into grasslands is relatively advanced, and may have only a temporary effect, as most CRP areas are likely to return to agricultural production in the near future. Changes are needed in grassland management practices to restrict woody plant encroachment and fragmentation; otherwise, continued declines in grassland bird populations can be expected.
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This paper describes badger (Meles meles L. 1758) abundance in remnant forests of the two Iberian plateaux. The relative role of factors related to habitat quality and to isolation were tested in order to explain variations in badger abundance according to forest-scrubland cover at the landscape scale. It was predicted that isolation would be more important where there is less forest cover (greater fragmentation), while habitat quality would predominate in areas where forest cover is greater (less fragmentation).
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A common objective of methods of systematic reserve selection has been to maximize conservation benefits—frequently current species richness—while reducing the costs of acquiring and maintaining reserves. But the probability that a reserve will lose species in the future is frequently not known because the minimum area requirements for most species have not been estimated empirically. For reserves within the Alleghenian-Illinoian mammal province of eastern North America, we empirically estimated the minimum area requirement of terrestrial mammals such that reserves should not lose species because of insularization. We compared this estimate to the actual size of 2355 reserves and reserve assemblages within the mammal province. The estimated minimum area requirement was 5037 km2 (95% CI: 2700–13,296 km2). Fourteen reserves and reserve assemblages were> 2700 km2, 9 were> 5037 km2, and 3 were> 13,296 km2. These 14 reserves accounted for 73% of the total area of reserves and 10% of the total area of the mammal province. Few reserves appear large enough to avoid loss of some mammal species without the additional cost of active management of habitat or populations. Immigration corridors and buffer zones that combine small reserves into assemblages totaling at least 2700 km2 may be the most efficient means of conserving mammals in these reserves.
Book
Information theory and log-likelihood models - a basis for model selection and inference practical use of the information theoretic approach model selection uncertainty with examples Monte Carlo insights and extended examples statistical theory.