Jun 27, 2017

Assessing habitat quality in relation to the spatial distribution of protected areas in Italy

Journal of Environmental Management
Lorenzo SallustioMarco Marchetti

Abstract

The conservation of species and habitats is increasingly threatened by anthropogenic impacts, particularly land use change, from local to global scales. Although many efforts have been carried out so far to halt or at least reduce the biodiversity loss (e.g., the establishment of protected areas' networks), there are still both knowledge and policy gaps slowing the conservation of species and habitats in complex environments, such as the Mediterranean region. In particular, the human-driven impacts and threats on biodiversity need more careful analysis. Accordingly, this paper aims to assess the habitat quality and degradation in Italy in relation with the spatial pattern of the current protected areas' network, mainly to identify priority areas of intervention, thus supporting large-scale conservation strategies. A survey of experts was conducted to identify the main threats for biodiversity from different land uses at the national scale. The InVEST software was then applied to assess and map habitat quality and degradation with a high spatial resolution (20 m). The relationship between habitat quality and degradation as well as their hotspots, and alternative PA categories were also explored. Results indicate that: (i) habita...Continue Reading

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References

Mentioned in this Paper

Computer Software
Spatial Distribution
Environment
Evaluation
Genetic Hotspot
Biodiversity
Location
Species
Analysis
Catabolism

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