Landscape Ecology

, 23:717

Linkages beyond borders: targeting spatial processes in fragmented urban landscapes

  • Jakob Lundberg
  • Erik Andersson
  • Grainne Cleary
  • Thomas Elmqvist
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10980-008-9232-9

Cite this article as:
Lundberg, J., Andersson, E., Cleary, G. et al. Landscape Ecol (2008) 23: 717. doi:10.1007/s10980-008-9232-9

Abstract

Management of ecosystems often focuses on specific species chosen for their habitat demand, public appeal, or levels of threat. We propose a complementary framework for choosing focal species, the mobile link concept, which allows managers to focus on spatial processes and deal with multi-scale ecological dynamics. Spatial processes are important for three reasons: maintenance, re-organization, and restoration of ecological values. We illustrate the framework with a case study of the Eurasian Jay, a mobile link species of importance for the oak forest regeneration in the Stockholm National Urban Park, Sweden, and its surroundings. The case study concludes with a conceptual model for how the framework can be applied in management. The model is based on a review of published data complemented with a seed predation experiment and mapping of Jay territories to reduce the risk of applying non-urban site-specific information in an urban setting. Our case study shows that the mobile link approach has several advantages: (1) Reducing the vulnerability of ecological functions to disturbances and fluctuations in resources allocated to management, (2) Reducing management costs by maintaining natural processes, and (3) Maintaining gene flow and genetic diversity at a landscape level. We argue that management that includes mobile link organisms is an important step towards the prevention of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in increasingly fragmented landscapes. Identifying and managing mobile links is a way to align management with the ecologically relevant scales in any landscape.

Keywords

Ecological functionsConnectivityDispersalEcosystem managementMobile linksUrban ecology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jakob Lundberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erik Andersson
    • 1
  • Grainne Cleary
    • 1
  • Thomas Elmqvist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Systems EcologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Stockholm Resilience CentreStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden