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Constructing Ecological Networks Based on Habitat Quality Assessment: A Case Study of Changzhou, China

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ABSTRACT

Fragmentation and reduced continuity of habitat patches threaten the environment and biodiversity. Recently, ecological networks are increasingly attracting the attention of researchers as they provide fundamental frameworks for environmental protection. This study suggests a set of procedures to construct an ecological network. First, we proposed a method to construct a landscape resistance surface based on the assessment of habitat quality. Second, to analyze the effect of the resistance surface on corridor simulations, we used three methods to construct resistance surfaces: (1) the method proposed in this paper, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Then, we integrated habitat patches and resistance surfaces to identify potential corridors using graph theory. These procedures were tested in Changzhou, China. Comparing the outputs of using different resistance surfaces demonstrated that: (1) different landscape resistance surfaces contribute to how corridors are identified, but only slightly affect the assessment of the importance of habitat patches and potential corridors; (2) the resistance surface, which is constructed based on habitat quality, is more applicable to corridor simulations; and (3) the assessment of the importance of habitat patches is fundamental for ecological network optimization in the conservation of critical habitat patches and corridors.

No MeSH data available.


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Mentions: We identified potential corridors based on graph theory. The three main steps were 1) the selection of habitat patches, 2) the construction of resistance surfaces, and 3) the identification of potential corridors. First, habitat patches were acquired from the nature reserve vector map. To analyze the effect of different resistance surfaces on corridors, we constructed resistance surfaces based on three different methods: (1) the habitat quality-based model, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Second, based on different resistance surfaces and the minimum cumulative resistance model, we identified all potential corridors in Changzhou. The results generated three groups of habitat patches and corridors reflecting the three methods we used. The resulting habitat patches, selected from the nature reserve vector map, were the same, while corridors differed as a result of differences in the resistance surfaces. Thus, we were able to compare the effects of the different methods of construction on the simulated potential corridors. Finally, the importance of both habitat patches and potential corridors were assessed. A flow chart of the techniques used is shown in Fig. 1.


Constructing Ecological Networks Based on Habitat Quality Assessment: A Case Study of Changzhou, China
Technical flow chart.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5385553&req=5

f1: Technical flow chart.
Mentions: We identified potential corridors based on graph theory. The three main steps were 1) the selection of habitat patches, 2) the construction of resistance surfaces, and 3) the identification of potential corridors. First, habitat patches were acquired from the nature reserve vector map. To analyze the effect of different resistance surfaces on corridors, we constructed resistance surfaces based on three different methods: (1) the habitat quality-based model, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Second, based on different resistance surfaces and the minimum cumulative resistance model, we identified all potential corridors in Changzhou. The results generated three groups of habitat patches and corridors reflecting the three methods we used. The resulting habitat patches, selected from the nature reserve vector map, were the same, while corridors differed as a result of differences in the resistance surfaces. Thus, we were able to compare the effects of the different methods of construction on the simulated potential corridors. Finally, the importance of both habitat patches and potential corridors were assessed. A flow chart of the techniques used is shown in Fig. 1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Fragmentation and reduced continuity of habitat patches threaten the environment and biodiversity. Recently, ecological networks are increasingly attracting the attention of researchers as they provide fundamental frameworks for environmental protection. This study suggests a set of procedures to construct an ecological network. First, we proposed a method to construct a landscape resistance surface based on the assessment of habitat quality. Second, to analyze the effect of the resistance surface on corridor simulations, we used three methods to construct resistance surfaces: (1) the method proposed in this paper, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Then, we integrated habitat patches and resistance surfaces to identify potential corridors using graph theory. These procedures were tested in Changzhou, China. Comparing the outputs of using different resistance surfaces demonstrated that: (1) different landscape resistance surfaces contribute to how corridors are identified, but only slightly affect the assessment of the importance of habitat patches and potential corridors; (2) the resistance surface, which is constructed based on habitat quality, is more applicable to corridor simulations; and (3) the assessment of the importance of habitat patches is fundamental for ecological network optimization in the conservation of critical habitat patches and corridors.

No MeSH data available.