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Natura 2000 could do a great deal more for nature protection
Date:9/3/2014

id on the spatial organisation of the protected areas and of the unprotected areas between them, to manage these in such a way as to allow the organisms to move between sites as necessary," Prof Klaus Henle of UFZ says of the results. The scientists believe that these suggestions would benefit the economy as well as nature protection: natural structures, such as hedges and field margins, are important to endangered species of plants and animals, as they allow them to migrate through the agricultural landscape. At the same time, however, these structures help to counter soil erosion and provide habitats for pollinating insects, which increase the agricultural yield of these areas.

The research has led to a number of new findings which could be extremely useful to those responsible for conservation, such as: larger protected areas need more connecting corridors than smaller ones. It is more effective to connect smaller protected areas to a large one than to interconnect smaller ones. In the long term, connections which allow species to migrate over large distances, following habitats which have shifted as a result of climate change, will be of particular importance.

A database was created as part of the project, containing information on how individual species disperse. Down the line, this information could be used to improve the management of the protection of individual species. "Species which move over large areas, such as the white stork or the wolf, should be managed at least between neighbouring states, or preferably internationally. Species which migrate over shorter distances, such as the other brown hare or the tree frog, on the other hand, can be better protected at federal state level," explains UFZ's Dr Reinhard Klenke. The researchers believe that a focus on the spatial structures is very important in species management. For instance, the needs in terms of designing farm subsidies differ between the former East and West of Germany, due to differe
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Contact: Klaus Henle
klaus.henle@ufz.de
49-341-235-1270
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Source:Eurekalert  

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