Title: Identification of strategic corridors for restoring landscape connectivity: application to the Iberian lynx
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC114228
ISSN: 1367-9430 (online)
URI: https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acv.12464
DOI: 10.1111/acv.12464
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The conservation or creation of ecological corridors is a key to support species persistence in fragmented landscapes. However, little guidance exists on where to concentrate the restoration measures to improve corridor quality and functionality. Focusing on the emblematic Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus as the target species, and using a resistance surface parameterized through detailed telemetry data for the species, we applied a modeling approach that identifies corridors whose restoration would be more beneficial for enhancing landscape connectivity. Connectivity benefits were quantified, first, as the increase in the Probability of Connectivity metric (dPC) that results for the entire population network after reducing the effective distance along a particular corridor to its minimum possible value through restoration, and second, as dPC normalized by a proxy of the total restoration effort that would be required in each corridor. Results showed that the corridor restoration benefits were related to their effective distance (accumulated cost of movement along the corridor) and network centrality (potential frequency of use by dispersing individuals) in the current landscapes. Two corridors in which restoration efforts may be more desirable for the Iberian lynx were highlighted: the one linking the Donana-Aljarafe population with other populations and reintroduction areas further north, and a west-east axis connecting the different populations in Sierra Morena. In general, the applied approach is a valuable tool to estimate how landscape connectivity may be affected when changes in the landscape are planned or can be predicted. This approach can be applied to potential corridors linking future reintroduction areas of the Iberian lynx, to case studies focusing on other landscapes and animal species, or to evaluate the impacts of corridor degradation or loss due to land use changes and other pressures.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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