Modeling the impact of future development and public conservation orientation on landscape connectivity for conservation planning
- 1k Downloads
Recent papers on the spatial assessment of conservation opportunity have focused on how social values for conservation may change modeled conservation outcomes. Accounting for social factors is important for regional wildlife corridor initiatives as they often emphasize the collaborative aspects of conservation planning.
We present an approach for characterizing the potential effects of public conservation orientation and projected future development land use scenarios on landscape connectivity.
Using public participation GIS techniques (mail-based surveys linked to a mapping component), we classified spatially explicit conservation values and preferences into a conservation orientation index consisting of positive, negative, or neutral scores. Connectivity was then modeled using a least-cost path and graph-network approach for a range of conservation orientation and development scenarios in the Lower Hunter region, Australia. Scenarios were modelled through either adding vegetation (positive orientation) or removing vegetation (negative orientation, development).
Scenarios that included positive conservation orientation link the isolated eastern and western reaches of the Lower Hunter, even when negative conservation scores were included in the model. This outcome is consistent with proposed connectivity corridors identified in regional strategies. The development scenario showed connectivity patterns similar to only modelling negative conservation orientation scores, with greater fragmentation across the region.
The modeled outcomes showed consistency between the public’s conservation orientation and the ecological rationale for increasing connectivity within the region. If conservation orientation can be translated into conservation initiatives, the result will be enhanced regional landscape connectivity that is both ecologically beneficial, as well as socially acceptable.
KeywordsPublic participation GIS, social research, connectivity, dispersal Least-cost paths Graph theory Land use planning, conservation planning Scenario planning Urbanization
This project was funded by the Australian Government Sustainable Regional Development Program in conjunction with the National Environmental Research Program. We would also like the thank Hunter Environment for the provision of the future development spatial data. Finally, we would like to thank the reviewers for their constructive feedback.
- Adriaensen F, Chardon JP, De Blust G, Swinnen E, Villalba S, Gulinck H, Matthysen E (2003) The application of “least-cost” modelling as a functional landscape model. Landsc Urban Plan 64:233–247Google Scholar
- Alagador D, Triviño M, Cerdeira JO, Brás R, Cabeza M, Araújo MB (2012) Linking like with like: optimising connectivity between environmentally-similar habitats. Landsc Ecol 27:291–301Google Scholar
- Ball IR, Possingham HP, Watts M (2009) Marxan and relatives: software for spatial conservation prioritisation. In: Moilanen A, Wilson KA, Possingham HP (eds) Spatial conservation prioritization: quantitative methods and computational tools. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 185–195Google Scholar
- Ban NC, Mills M, Tam J, Hicks CC, Klain S, Stoeckl N, Bottrill MC, Levine J, Pressey RL, Satterfield T, Chan KM (2013) A social–ecological approach to conservation planning: embedding social considerations. Front Ecol Environ 11:194–202. doi: 10.1890/110205
- Brown G, Smith C, Alessa L, Kliskey A (2004) A comparison of perceptions of biological value with scientific assessment of biological importance. Appl Geogr 24:161–180Google Scholar
- Cash DW, Clark WC, Alcock F, Dickson NM, Eckley N, Guston DH, Jager J, Mitchell RB (2003) Knowledge systems for sustainable development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:8086–8091Google Scholar
- DECCW (2009) Lower Hunter regional conservation plan. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, SydneyGoogle Scholar
- Dillman D (2007) Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design method, 2nd edn. Wiley, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
- Doerr VAJ, Doerr ED, Davies MJ (2010) Does structural connectivity facilitate dispersal of native species in Australia’s fragmented terrestrial landscapes? CEE Rev 08-007:70Google Scholar
- Eco Logical Australia (2012) Port Stephens biodiversity connectivity mapping. Prepared for Port Stephens CouncilGoogle Scholar
- Fischer J, Lindenmayer DB (2006) Habitat fragmentation and landscape change: an ecological and conservation synthesis. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 16:478Google Scholar
- Goldberg CS, Pocewicz A, Nielsen-Pincus M, Waits LP, Morgan P, Force JE, Vierling LA (2011) Predictions of ecological and social impacts of alternative residential development policies to inform decision making in a rural landscape. Conserv Lett 4:423–432. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00194.x
- Lechner AM, Lefroy EC (2014) General approach to planning connectivity from local scales to regional (GAP CLoSR): combining multi-criteria analysis and connectivity science to enhance conservation outcomes at regional scale. Centre for Environment, University of Tasmania. www.nerplandscapes.edu.au/publication/GAP_CLoSR. Accessed Jan 2015
- Lechner AM, Raymond CM, Adams VM, Polyakov M, Gordon A, Rhodes JR, Mills M, Stein A, Ives CD, Lefroy EC (2014) Characterizing spatial uncertainty when integrating social data in conservation planning. Conserv Biol 28:1497–1511. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12409
- Mills M, Pressey RL, Ban NC, Foale S, Aswani S, Knight AT (2013) Understanding characteristics that define the feasibility of conservation actions in a common pool marine resource governance system. Conserv Lett 6:418–429. doi: 10.1111/conl.12025
- Moilanen A, Meller L, Leppänen J, Pouzols FM, Arponen A, Kujala H (2013) Spatial conservation planning framework and software Zonation v.3.1 User manual. University of Helsinki, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
- Moon K, Cocklin C (2011) Participation in biodiversity conservation: motivations and barriers of Australian landholders. J Rural Stud 27:331–342. doi: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.04.001
- NSW Department of Planning (2006) The Lower Hunter regional strategy 2006. Government of New South Wales, SydneyGoogle Scholar
- Parris H, Whitten S, Wyborn C, Hill R, Freudenberger D (2011) An overview of key socio-economic factors, principles and guidelines in wildlife “corridor” planning and implementation. A report for the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, June 2011Google Scholar
- Raymond C, Curtis A (2013) Mapping community values for regional sustainability in the Lower Hunter Region. University of Tasmania, Hobart, TasmaniaGoogle Scholar
- Siggins A, Opie K, Culvenor D, Newnham G (2006) Mapping vegetation cover and vegetation formation from SPOT5 satellite imagery. In: McCauley A (ed) Vegetation survey and mapping—hunter, central and lower North Coast Region of NSW. HCCREMS, Tocal, NSW, Australia, pp 39–46Google Scholar
- Van Riper CJ, Kyle GT, Sutton SG, Barnes M, Sherrouse BC (2012) Mapping outdoor recreationists’ perceived social values for ecosystem services at Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Australia. Appl Geogr 35:164–173. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.06.008
- Whitehead AL, Kujala H, Ives CD, Gordon A, Lentini P, Wintle B, Nicholson E, Raymond CM (2014) Integrating biological and social values when prioritising for biodiversity conservation. Conserv Biol 28:992–1003Google Scholar
- Wyborn C (2013) A collaborative future for Conservation: lessons from connectivity conservation. Innovation 21st Century Conservation Publishing, CSIRO, Campbell, pp 44–49Google Scholar