Green Infrastructure Design Based on Spatial Conservation Prioritization and Modeling of Biodiversity Features and Ecosystem Services
AuthorSnall, T; Lehtomaki, J; Arponen, A; Elith, J; Moilanen, A
Source TitleEnvironmental Management (New York): an international journal for decision-makers, scientists and environmental auditors
University of Melbourne Author/sElith, Rosemary
AffiliationSchool of BioSciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSnall, T., Lehtomaki, J., Arponen, A., Elith, J. & Moilanen, A. (2016). Green Infrastructure Design Based on Spatial Conservation Prioritization and Modeling of Biodiversity Features and Ecosystem Services. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 57 (2), pp.251-256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-015-0613-y.
Access StatusOpen Access
There is high-level political support for the use of green infrastructure (GI) across Europe, to maintain viable populations and to provide ecosystem services (ES). Even though GI is inherently a spatial concept, the modern tools for spatial planning have not been recognized, such as in the recent European Environment Agency (EEA) report. We outline a toolbox of methods useful for GI design that explicitly accounts for biodiversity and ES. Data on species occurrence, habitats, and environmental variables are increasingly available via open-access internet platforms. Such data can be synthesized by statistical species distribution modeling, producing maps of biodiversity features. These, together with maps of ES, can form the basis for GI design. We argue that spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) methods are effective tools for GI design, as the overall SCP goal is cost-effective allocation of conservation efforts. Corridors are currently promoted by the EEA as the means for implementing GI design, but they typically target the needs of only a subset of the regional species pool. SCP methods would help to ensure that GI provides a balanced solution for the requirements of many biodiversity features (e.g., species, habitat types) and ES simultaneously in a cost-effective manner. Such tools are necessary to make GI into an operational concept for combating biodiversity loss and promoting ES.
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