Habitat loss and fragmentation are often concurrent to land conversion and urbanization. Simple application of GIS-based landscape pattern indicators may be not sufficient to support meaningful biodiversity impact assessment. A review of the literature reveals that habitat definition and habitat fragmentation are frequently inadequately considered in environmental assessment, notwithstanding the increasing number of tools and approaches reported in the landscape ecology literature. This paper presents an approach for assessing impacts on habitats on a local scale, where availability of species data is often limited, developed for an alpine valley in northern Italy. The perspective of the methodology is multiple scale and species-oriented, and provides both qualitative and quantitative definitions of impact significance. A qualitative decision model is used to assess ecological values in order to support land-use decisions at the local level. Building on recent studies in the same region, the methodology integrates various approaches, such as landscape graphs, object-oriented rule-based habitat assessment and expert knowledge. The results provide insights into future habitat loss and fragmentation caused by land-use changes, and aim at supporting decision-making in planning and suggesting possible ecological compensation.

A multi-scale qualitative approach to assess the impact of urbanization on natural habitats and their connectivity

Scolozzi, Rocco;Geneletti, Davide
2012

Abstract

Habitat loss and fragmentation are often concurrent to land conversion and urbanization. Simple application of GIS-based landscape pattern indicators may be not sufficient to support meaningful biodiversity impact assessment. A review of the literature reveals that habitat definition and habitat fragmentation are frequently inadequately considered in environmental assessment, notwithstanding the increasing number of tools and approaches reported in the landscape ecology literature. This paper presents an approach for assessing impacts on habitats on a local scale, where availability of species data is often limited, developed for an alpine valley in northern Italy. The perspective of the methodology is multiple scale and species-oriented, and provides both qualitative and quantitative definitions of impact significance. A qualitative decision model is used to assess ecological values in order to support land-use decisions at the local level. Building on recent studies in the same region, the methodology integrates various approaches, such as landscape graphs, object-oriented rule-based habitat assessment and expert knowledge. The results provide insights into future habitat loss and fragmentation caused by land-use changes, and aim at supporting decision-making in planning and suggesting possible ecological compensation.
Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/93724
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