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Networks of small habitat patches can preserve urban biodiversity
Date:11/13/2008

limited budget. Our study empirically shows that the network modeling approach is a good candidate for developing such a tool" said Dr. Bodin.

The study combines empirical field studies of birds with theoretical and statistical modelling. A range of bird species were surveyed in various green areas of different size and type in the urban area of Stockholm, Sweden. Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques were deployed to model the urban landscape as a network of individual habitat fragments. The field data were then used to test and verify the assumptions behind the network model.

Modelling a landscape as a network provides for many new analytical possibilities. However, the network modelling approach as such has, until now, rarely been tested empirically.

"Our study gives strength to the network perspective of landscapes, and thus supports further development of new and exiting network-based analyses that could help managers to preserve valuable ecological functions even in very fragmented landscapes" said Dr. Andersson.

The study also showed that it is important to differentiate between different types of green areas when constructing a habitat network since many species have quite different habitat preferences. In addition, the effect of movement barriers and the existence of stepping stones should be included in the analysis, a fact which is particularly relevant in urban areas.


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Contact: Ellika Hermansson Trk
ellika@stockholmresilience.su.se
468-674-7744
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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