Prioritising sites for pollinators in a fragmented coastal nectar habitat network in Western Europe

Paul McKenzie, Sally Cook, George Paterson, Gill Smart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context
Habitat loss and fragmentation contribute significantly to pollinator decline and biodiversity loss globally. Conserving high quality habitats whilst restoring and connecting remnant habitat is critical to halt such declines.
Objectives
We quantified the connectivity of pollinator habitats for a generic focal species (GFS) which represented three groups of pollinators in an existing coastal nectar habitat network. Subsequently, in partnership with a conservation agency, we modelled an improved landscape that identified priority habitat patches to increase connectivity for pollinators.
Methods
We selected 4260 pollinator habitats along an 80 km section of coastland in Scotland using Phase 1 habitat data. A GFS represented three vulnerable European pollinator groups while graph theory and spatial metrics were used to identify optimal sites that could enhance habitat connectivity.
Results
Higher dispersing species experienced greater habitat connectivity in the improved landscape and habitat availability increased substantially in response to small increases in habitat. The improved landscape revealed important habitat patches in the existing landscape that should be protected and developed.
Conclusions
Our findings highlight that optimal landscapes can be designed through the integration of habitat data with spatial metrics for a GFS. By adopting this novel approach, conservation strategies can be targeted in an efficient manner to conserve at-risk species and their associated habitats. Integrating these design principles with policy and practice could enhance biodiversity across Europe.
LanguageEnglish
JournalLandscape Ecology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

nectar
pollinator
habitat
connectivity
Western Europe
biodiversity
habitat availability
habitat quality
fragmentation

Keywords

  • GIS
  • landscape planning
  • potential connectivity
  • habitat networks
  • ecological networks
  • pollination services

Cite this

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title = "Prioritising sites for pollinators in a fragmented coastal nectar habitat network in Western Europe",
abstract = "ContextHabitat loss and fragmentation contribute significantly to pollinator decline and biodiversity loss globally. Conserving high quality habitats whilst restoring and connecting remnant habitat is critical to halt such declines. ObjectivesWe quantified the connectivity of pollinator habitats for a generic focal species (GFS) which represented three groups of pollinators in an existing coastal nectar habitat network. Subsequently, in partnership with a conservation agency, we modelled an improved landscape that identified priority habitat patches to increase connectivity for pollinators.MethodsWe selected 4260 pollinator habitats along an 80 km section of coastland in Scotland using Phase 1 habitat data. A GFS represented three vulnerable European pollinator groups while graph theory and spatial metrics were used to identify optimal sites that could enhance habitat connectivity.ResultsHigher dispersing species experienced greater habitat connectivity in the improved landscape and habitat availability increased substantially in response to small increases in habitat. The improved landscape revealed important habitat patches in the existing landscape that should be protected and developed.ConclusionsOur findings highlight that optimal landscapes can be designed through the integration of habitat data with spatial metrics for a GFS. By adopting this novel approach, conservation strategies can be targeted in an efficient manner to conserve at-risk species and their associated habitats. Integrating these design principles with policy and practice could enhance biodiversity across Europe.",
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author = "Paul McKenzie and Sally Cook and George Paterson and Gill Smart",
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Prioritising sites for pollinators in a fragmented coastal nectar habitat network in Western Europe. / McKenzie, Paul; Cook, Sally; Paterson, George; Smart, Gill.

03.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prioritising sites for pollinators in a fragmented coastal nectar habitat network in Western Europe

AU - McKenzie, Paul

AU - Cook, Sally

AU - Paterson, George

AU - Smart, Gill

PY - 2019/8/3

Y1 - 2019/8/3

N2 - ContextHabitat loss and fragmentation contribute significantly to pollinator decline and biodiversity loss globally. Conserving high quality habitats whilst restoring and connecting remnant habitat is critical to halt such declines. ObjectivesWe quantified the connectivity of pollinator habitats for a generic focal species (GFS) which represented three groups of pollinators in an existing coastal nectar habitat network. Subsequently, in partnership with a conservation agency, we modelled an improved landscape that identified priority habitat patches to increase connectivity for pollinators.MethodsWe selected 4260 pollinator habitats along an 80 km section of coastland in Scotland using Phase 1 habitat data. A GFS represented three vulnerable European pollinator groups while graph theory and spatial metrics were used to identify optimal sites that could enhance habitat connectivity.ResultsHigher dispersing species experienced greater habitat connectivity in the improved landscape and habitat availability increased substantially in response to small increases in habitat. The improved landscape revealed important habitat patches in the existing landscape that should be protected and developed.ConclusionsOur findings highlight that optimal landscapes can be designed through the integration of habitat data with spatial metrics for a GFS. By adopting this novel approach, conservation strategies can be targeted in an efficient manner to conserve at-risk species and their associated habitats. Integrating these design principles with policy and practice could enhance biodiversity across Europe.

AB - ContextHabitat loss and fragmentation contribute significantly to pollinator decline and biodiversity loss globally. Conserving high quality habitats whilst restoring and connecting remnant habitat is critical to halt such declines. ObjectivesWe quantified the connectivity of pollinator habitats for a generic focal species (GFS) which represented three groups of pollinators in an existing coastal nectar habitat network. Subsequently, in partnership with a conservation agency, we modelled an improved landscape that identified priority habitat patches to increase connectivity for pollinators.MethodsWe selected 4260 pollinator habitats along an 80 km section of coastland in Scotland using Phase 1 habitat data. A GFS represented three vulnerable European pollinator groups while graph theory and spatial metrics were used to identify optimal sites that could enhance habitat connectivity.ResultsHigher dispersing species experienced greater habitat connectivity in the improved landscape and habitat availability increased substantially in response to small increases in habitat. The improved landscape revealed important habitat patches in the existing landscape that should be protected and developed.ConclusionsOur findings highlight that optimal landscapes can be designed through the integration of habitat data with spatial metrics for a GFS. By adopting this novel approach, conservation strategies can be targeted in an efficient manner to conserve at-risk species and their associated habitats. Integrating these design principles with policy and practice could enhance biodiversity across Europe.

KW - GIS

KW - landscape planning

KW - potential connectivity

KW - habitat networks

KW - ecological networks

KW - pollination services

M3 - Article

ER -