Ecological Connectivity

Heather Barker
Flashcards by Heather Barker, updated more than 1 year ago
Heather Barker
Created by Heather Barker over 1 year ago


Discuss the potential ways that habitat creation could deliver resilient ecological networks.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Protect & Maxmise Protect and maximise the wildlife value of existing biodiversity-rich sites (Lawton,2010; Possingham, 2015)
Expand & Buffer Expand and buffer these core areas by restoring or creating new habitats in strategic locations; and create connections, corridors and stepping stones between them (Hilty, 2006; Pearce-Higgins, 2014)
Wildlife Corridors Continues features like river valleys or hedgerows which can act as 'wildlife highways'
Stepping Stones Smaller, unconnected natural areas; close networks of patches that act as stop off points for wildlife on the move - for example, a series of copse or ponds in open grassland.
Restore Natural Processes As far as possible to their full function. Natural systems provide a range of services such as pollination, cleansing of polluted water and carbon capture in healthy soils (Wall, 2012)
Ecosystem Services Pollination Clean Air & Water Carbon Capture Food & Flood Management Resilience to Drought
Connectivity & Resilience Make the wider landscape of farmland, urban areas and forestry friendlier (and more 'permeable') to wildlife between core sites.
Sustainable Managment If the wider countryside were managed more sustainably, society and farmer will continue benefit from the essential services provided by the natural environment.
Habiatat Fragmentation Reduces the capability of species to move. For example, isolated species groups may interact with each other to maintain their genetic health.
Patches Some plants and animals live in patches which can only support a certain population size and depend on the movement and exchange of individuals for their survival.
Dispersal Dispersal is an inherent survival strategy for many species to find new habitats to increase their distribution and abundance.
Climate Change Changing weather patterns and climate change may also have a direct influence, amongst other factors, on the relationships and competition between species; some may be displaced. Studies have observed how species are moving in response to warming (Poissons & Ardor, 2014)
Edge Effect Changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two or more habitats. Areas with small habitat fragments exhibit especially pronounced edge effects that may extend throughout their range.
Anthropogenic Pressure As the demands made on land from agriculture, forestry, housing and development have increased, so the space avaliable for UK wildlife has decreased (Lawton, 2010)
Landscape-Scale Restoration The scale at which we think and act is critical. if action is to be effective, the scale must be relevant to the species, habitats and processes in the living landscape.
Human Boundaries It is also important to recognise that whilst people draw lines on maps and define boundaries across the landscape, other species do not respect human boundaries
Freedom of Movement The ways in which plants, fungi, bacteria and animals are many and varied. A living landscape approach aims to provide a range of features and processes which allow as many species as possible to sustain their populations and disperse (Clobert, 2012)
The Issue Nature conservation in the UK has traditionally focused on protecting specific sites, but outside these wildlife habitats have been lost on an unprecedented scale. Despite some conservation success stories, the majority of species have seen long term decline (Maclean, 2010; Lawton 2010)
Pollination REF
Clean Air & Water REF
Carbon Storage REF
Food & Flood Managment REF
Resilience to Drought REF
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