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US-IALE 2018 has ended

Monday, April 9 • 11:15am - 11:30am
SYMPOSIA-03: USGS Gap Analysis Project Habitat Maps: Prospects for Multi-species, Multi-scale Assessments of Habitat Fragmentation

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AUTHORS: Nathan Tarr*, Matthew Rubino – North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

ABSTRACT: We are exploring landscape fragmentation metrics suitable for large numbers of habitat maps at multiple scales to determine whether and how sufficient connectivity for species with dissimilar dispersal abilities and habitat preferences can co-occur in a landscape. The USGS Gap Analysis Project (GAP) will soon release seasonal habitat maps with 30m x 30m spatial resolution for over 1,500 species within the conterminous United States. Those maps can be processed into maps of habitat networks at multiple resolutions that can then be used for habitat assessments at broad extents, as well as theoretical studies of fragmentation and connectivity. The challenge is to find a set of biologically relevant metrics of landscape pattern along with computational methods that can be used to calculate those metrics for such a large dataset. We are leveraging data from GAP and other biological databases to identify areas of fragmented habitat for individual species, assessing the configuration of habitat in fragmented networks, and assessing network similarity among multiple species that co-occur in heterogeneous landscapes. We will report on efforts to determine the biological relevance and computational challenges of calculating and aggregating landscape metrics from multiple species and discuss the challenges and opportunities for using GAP habitat maps in assessments of fragmentation given gaps in biological knowledge and limitations in GAP data. Our talk will aim to spark discussion and elicit feedback on the prospects of developing multi-species, multi-scale methods for landscape assessment that could provide new insights and hypotheses for Landscape Ecology and contextualize landscape conservation plans and tools, such as the use of surrogate species and large, forested corridors.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:15am - 11:30am
Spire Parlor

Attendees (16)