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

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.

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(a) Habitat patches in Changzhou, (b) differences in the spatial distribution of different habitat patches (where, based on the center of gravity of Changzhou, study area was divided into eight equal areas. Then, the area of habitat patches located in different sectors was statistically calculated), and (c) variations in ecological land area (the total area of farmland, forests, and water bodies in Changzhou) and the patch density index in Changzhou during 2006–2014 (where the left axis indicates the ecological land area and the right axis indicates the patch density index values). (Created by ArcMap, version 10.2, http://www.esri.com/. Boundaries of Jiangsu province and Changzhou, land-use type data and habitat patches acquired from Changzhou Land Resources Bureau).
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f2: (a) Habitat patches in Changzhou, (b) differences in the spatial distribution of different habitat patches (where, based on the center of gravity of Changzhou, study area was divided into eight equal areas. Then, the area of habitat patches located in different sectors was statistically calculated), and (c) variations in ecological land area (the total area of farmland, forests, and water bodies in Changzhou) and the patch density index in Changzhou during 2006–2014 (where the left axis indicates the ecological land area and the right axis indicates the patch density index values). (Created by ArcMap, version 10.2, http://www.esri.com/. Boundaries of Jiangsu province and Changzhou, land-use type data and habitat patches acquired from Changzhou Land Resources Bureau).

Mentions: Changzhou is one of the most developed cities in China. As a result, the habitat patches in this city are significantly affected by urbanization. Habitat patches are mostly distributed in the western and eastern parts of Changzhou, with fewer patches located in the north-northeastern part (Fig. 2(b)). The degree of ecological land fragmentation in Changzhou was evaluated using the patch density index33. The index grew from 1.42 in 2006 to 2.10 in 2012 (Fig. 2(c)), illustrating that habitat patches became increasingly fragmented. Thus, spatial fragmentation and uneven distribution lead to difficulties in constructing an effective ecological network. In this study, 20 ecological sources were selected, as shown in Table 1 and Fig. 2(a).


Constructing Ecological Networks Based on Habitat Quality Assessment: A Case Study of Changzhou, China
(a) Habitat patches in Changzhou, (b) differences in the spatial distribution of different habitat patches (where, based on the center of gravity of Changzhou, study area was divided into eight equal areas. Then, the area of habitat patches located in different sectors was statistically calculated), and (c) variations in ecological land area (the total area of farmland, forests, and water bodies in Changzhou) and the patch density index in Changzhou during 2006–2014 (where the left axis indicates the ecological land area and the right axis indicates the patch density index values). (Created by ArcMap, version 10.2, http://www.esri.com/. Boundaries of Jiangsu province and Changzhou, land-use type data and habitat patches acquired from Changzhou Land Resources Bureau).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f2: (a) Habitat patches in Changzhou, (b) differences in the spatial distribution of different habitat patches (where, based on the center of gravity of Changzhou, study area was divided into eight equal areas. Then, the area of habitat patches located in different sectors was statistically calculated), and (c) variations in ecological land area (the total area of farmland, forests, and water bodies in Changzhou) and the patch density index in Changzhou during 2006–2014 (where the left axis indicates the ecological land area and the right axis indicates the patch density index values). (Created by ArcMap, version 10.2, http://www.esri.com/. Boundaries of Jiangsu province and Changzhou, land-use type data and habitat patches acquired from Changzhou Land Resources Bureau).
Mentions: Changzhou is one of the most developed cities in China. As a result, the habitat patches in this city are significantly affected by urbanization. Habitat patches are mostly distributed in the western and eastern parts of Changzhou, with fewer patches located in the north-northeastern part (Fig. 2(b)). The degree of ecological land fragmentation in Changzhou was evaluated using the patch density index33. The index grew from 1.42 in 2006 to 2.10 in 2012 (Fig. 2(c)), illustrating that habitat patches became increasingly fragmented. Thus, spatial fragmentation and uneven distribution lead to difficulties in constructing an effective ecological network. In this study, 20 ecological sources were selected, as shown in Table 1 and Fig. 2(a).

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.


Related in: MedlinePlus