Robert Pazur, WSL, Swiss Federal Research Institute, email@example.com
Katarzyna Ostapowicz, Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janine Bolliger, WSL, Swiss Federal Research Institute, email@example.com
This symposium will explore the state-of-the-art of approaches to assess the relationship between structural and functional connectivity of human-dominated landscapes. We focus on contributions that a) review our understanding of past and future landscape structure on the functional connectivity; b) integrate different disciplines (e.g., landscape genetics, wildlife ecology, remote sensing, or analytical modelling) to successfully pursue connectivity analyses; c) demonstrate the utility of connectivity assessment (e.g. 3D landscape metrics) for conservation management to mitigate challenges associated with the implementation of e.g., Green and Blue Infrastructure concepts.
Global environmental change threatens species through habitat loss and fragmentation, leading
to reduced functional connectivity. The loss of connectivity diminishes population viability
and the organism’s potential to shift their ranges or adapt to new environmental conditions. Protected areas offer limited solutions to such risks, since managing for connectivity requires interventions which consider a broader landscape context, either by creating wildlife corridors and stepping stones, or by applying biodiversity-friendly management (e.g., EU Biodiversity strategy 2020). In this context, e.g., the Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) concept is appealing as it attempts to reconcile the needs of nature and humans. A central aim of GBI is to form a functional network of (semi-) natural habitats to maintain biodiversity and optimize ecosystem functions and services. As the implementation of such concepts likely causes conflicts, appropriate workflows with effective tools and methods are required to allow for efficient evaluations of habitat loss and landscape connectivity.
Objectives of this symposium include:
- to provide an overview of current state-of-the-art tools and methods to assess habitat and functional connectivity in dynamic, heterogeneous landscapes;
- to identify the potential of current remote sensing data and connectivity modelling methods for assessment of different habitats and landscape structure;
- to explore challenges and future needs in implementing functional connectivity concepts in human-dominated landscapes and to assess options to mitigate or reconcile likely conflicts.
What can participants expect to learn?
- review and synthesize our understanding of past and future landscape structure on functional connectivity;
- integrate different disciplines (e.g., landscape genetics, population biology, remote sensing, spatial analysis and analytical modelling) to successfully pursue joint connectivity analyses;
- demonstrate the utility of connectivity assessments (e.g. with use of 3D landscape metrics) for conservation management and mitigate related challenges and conflicts to mitigate and reconcile challenges and conflicts associated with the implementation of e.g., Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) concepts.
The symposium provides a unique opportunity for discussion and cooperation of scientists from different regions and research fields (landscape genetics, remote sensing, quantitative landscape analysis). The interaction of scientists will encourage further cooperation with practical outcomes in the context of GBI.
Symposium outcomes will be highlighted as a short communication with a research agenda in Landscape Ecology and will be discussed in scientific blogs e.g. the Science for the Carpathians (S4C).