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Connectivity of nature in the Nordic countries (CONNOR)

Assessing landscape structure in habitat monitoring in the Nordic countries - potential approaches, methods and data

image of Connectivity of nature in the Nordic countries (CONNOR)

Proceedings from the workshop at Roskilde Vandrehjem, Denmark, 14-15 May 2008 The Nordic countries have a common goal to halt the decline in biological diversity by 2010. Changes in the spatial structure of habitats are a major pressure on biological diversity. Spatial indicators can help to describe the development of biological diversity and hence evaluate the 2010-target. At a workshop held in May 2008, approaches and available data for the application of spatial indicators in the Nordic countries were discussed. It was agreed that spatial indicators are useful descriptors for biological diversity. However, indicators must be based on specific knowledge on species' requirements in terms of quality and spatial structure of habitats. Furthermore, applied map-data must contain information, which reflects these requirements. To strengthen the integration of spatial indicators in Nordic nature monitoring, critical research needs were identified. Existing approaches and available map-data need to be evaluated critically. In order to uncover opportunities, limitations and needed actions for a meaningful application of spatial indicators, specific example-studies need to be elaborated. These research activities are crucial for scientifically qualified and sound recommendations for the future design of nature monitoring in the Nordic countries.

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Discussions and conclusions

As highlighted in the preface, biodiversity and its supporting landscapes are highly dynamic, driven by pressures occurring from human as well as physio-geographical and ecological forces. Presentations given throughout the workshop as well as lots of references to scientific publications clearly indicate the relevance of habitat fragmentation as a main pressure on biodiversity, species survival and adaptation. Consequently, a main issue in the workshop discussions was whether and how spatial indicators in a Nordic context can be applied in a way, making them meaningful descriptors of impacts on biodiversity. This discussion led to following main conclusions

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