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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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Examples of assessment of habitat structure and fragmentation

This chapter presents abstracts provided by the authors, with illustrations selected by the editors from the presentations. There were many recurring themes throughout the presentations. Virtually everybody touched on issues of data availability, quality and scale, agreeing that the lack of data at species and habitat levels limits the degree to which indicators can be meaningful and appropriate. This is perhaps most obvious for international approaches, where the development of methods and tools is far ahead of the provision of standardised data at a sufficient level of resolution. Yet the same challenges are seen at the national level. To overcome this we see various forms of sampling in use, both in national and international projects, aiming to provide relevant data of sufficient quality to elucidate links between biodiversity and landscape structure.

English

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