A landscape index of ecological integrity to inform landscape conservation

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Abstract

Context Conservation planning is increasingly using ‘‘coarse filters’’ based on the idea of conserving ‘‘nature’s stage’’. One such approach is based on ecosystems and the concept of ecological integrity, although myriad ways exist to measure ecological integrity.

Objectives To describe our ecosystem-based index of ecological integrity (IEI) and its derivative index of ecological impact (ecoImpact), and illustrate their applications for conservation assessment and planning in the northeastern United States.

Methods We characterized the biophysical setting of the landscape at the 30 m cell resolution using a parsimonious suite of settings variables. Based on these settings variables and mapped ecosystems, we computed a suite of anthropogenic stressor metrics reflecting intactness (i.e., freedom from anthropogenic stressors) and resiliency metrics (i.e., connectivity to similar neighboring ecological settings), quantile rescaled them by ecosystem and geographic extent, and combined them in a weighted linear model to create IEI. We used the change in IEI over time under a land use scenario to compute ecoImpact.

Results We illustrated the calculation of IEI and ecoImpact to compare the ecological integrity consequences of a 70-year projection of urban growth to an alternative scenario involving securing a network of conservation core areas (reserves) from future development.

Conclusions IEI and ecoImpact offer an effective way to assess ecological integrity across the landscape and examine the potential ecological consequences of alternative land use and land cover scenarios to inform conservation decision making.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Dates

Metadata Date September 28, 2018
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2018-06-08T04:00:00.000+00:00 (publication)
Frequency Of Update

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI Open Data

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Publication
Metadata Date September 28, 2018
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) 2018-06-08T04:00:00.000+00:00 (publication)
Responsible Party (Coauthor); North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Guid 5b1fcf52e4b092d965255b69
Access Constraints
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update
Licence
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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