, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 561-573

Incorporating landscape elements into a connectivity measure: a case study for the Speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria L.)

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Abstract

In spatial studies of populations, Euclidean distance is commonly used to measure the structural connectivity between habitat patches. The role of the matrix on patch connectivity is thereby ignored. However, the importance of the matrix for (dispersal) movement is increasingly being acknowledged. Our study compared the cost-distance measure with the Euclidean distance. The cost-distance is a simple GIS-calculated connectivity measure that incorporates the resistance of the landscape matrix to movement behaviour. We used presence-absence data from a field study on the Speckled wood butterfly in two Belgian landscapes. Logistic regression revealed that the cost-distance measure had a significantly better predictive power than the Euclidean distance. This result was consistent for all the six sets of different matrix resistance values. In our study the cost-distance proves to be a better connectivity measure than the Euclidean distance.

This revised version was published online in July 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.