Quantifying cross-scale patch contributions to spatial connectivity

Cumming, Graeme S., Magris, Rafael A., and Maciejewski, Kristi (2022) Quantifying cross-scale patch contributions to spatial connectivity. Landscape Ecology, 37. pp. 2255-2272.

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Context: Connectivity between habitat patches is vital for ecological processes at multiple scales. Traditional metrics do not measure the scales at which individual habitat patches contribute to the overall ecological connectivity of the landscape. Connectivity has previously been evaluated at several different scales based on the dispersal capabilities of particular organisms, but these approaches are data-heavy and conditioned on just a few species.

Objectives: Our objective was to improve cross-scale measurement of connectivity by developing and testing a new landscape metric, cross-scale centrality.

Methods: Cross-scale centrality (CSC) integrates over measurements of patch centrality at different scales (hypothetical dispersal distances) to quantify the cross-scale contribution of each individual habitat patch to overall landscape or seascape connectivity. We tested CSC against an independent metapopulation simulation model and demonstrated its potential application in conservation planning by comparison to an alternative approach that used individual dispersal data.

Results: CSC correlated significantly with total patch occupancy across the entire landscape in our metapopulation simulation, while being much faster and easier to calculate. Standard conservation planning software (Marxan) using dispersal data was weaker than CSC at capturing locations with high cross-scale connectivity.

Conclusions: Metrics that measure pattern across multiple scales are much faster and more efficient than full simulation models and more rigorous and interpretable than ad hoc incorporation of connectivity into conservation plans. In reality, connectivity matters for many different organisms across many different scales. Metrics like CSC that quantify landscape pattern across multiple different scales can make a valuable contribution to multi-scale landscape measurement, planning, and management.

Item ID: 75761
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9761
Keywords: Dispersal, Configuration, Network, Scale, Metapopulation, Conservation planning
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2022 08:44
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310399 Ecology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410206 Landscape ecology @ 70%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1899 Other environmental management > 189999 Other environmental management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 50%
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