Environmental Management

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 86–103 | Cite as

Potential Distribution of Mountain Cloud Forest in Michoacán, Mexico: Prioritization for Conservation in the Context of Landscape Connectivity

  • Camilo A. Correa Ayram
  • Manuel E. Mendoza
  • Andrés Etter
  • Diego R. Pérez Salicrup
Article

Abstract

Landscape connectivity is essential in biodiversity conservation because of its ability to reduce the effect of habitat fragmentation; furthermore is a key property in adapting to climate change. Potential distribution models and landscape connectivity studies have increased with regard to their utility to prioritizing areas for conservation. The objective of this study was to model the potential distribution of Mountain cloud forests in the Transversal Volcanic System, Michoacán and to analyze the role of these areas in maintaining landscape connectivity. Potential distribution was modeled for the Mountain cloud forests based on the maximum entropy approach using 95 occurrence points and 17 ecological variables at 30 m spatial resolution. Potential connectivity was then evaluated by using a probability of connectivity index based on graph theory. The percentage of variation (dPCk) was used to identify the individual contribution of each potential area of Mountain cloud forests in overall connectivity. The different ways in which the potential areas of Mountain cloud forests can contribute to connectivity were evaluated by using the three fractions derived from dPCk (dPCintrak, dPCfluxk, and dPCconnectork). We determined that 37,567 ha of the TVSMich are optimal for the presence of Mountain cloud forests. The contribution of said area in the maintenance of connectivity was low. The conservation of Mountain cloud forests is indispensable, however, in providing or receiving dispersal flows through TVSMich because of its role as a connector element between another habitat types. The knowledge of the potential capacity of Mountain cloud forests to promote structural and functional landscape connectivity is key in the prioritization of conservation areas.

Keywords

Cloud forest Potential distribution modeling Potential connectivity Graph theory Conservation planning México 

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Investigaciones en Geografía AmbientalUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Ecología y Territorio, Facultad de Estudios Ambientales y RuralesPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotá DCColombia
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y SustentabilidadUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMoreliaMexico
  4. 4.Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von HumboldtBogotá DCColombia

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