Land cover and conservation: from protected areas to landscapes

Wiens, J.A., Anderson, M.G., Boucher, T.
PublisherAmerican Association of Geographers
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Editor(s)Campbell, J.C., K.B. Jones, J.H. Smith, M.T. Koeppe
Conference / Book TitleNorth America Land Cover Summit
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OtherChapter 10
Conference TitleNorth America Land Cover Summit
Conference Date2006
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AbstractProtected areas are the foundation of conservation efforts at local to global scales. Although the development of formal reserve-selection procedures and conservation planning at multiple scales has made the identification of priority areas for protection increasingly data-based, the resulting areas are often treated as if they were internally homogeneous islands in an equally featureless but unsuitable landscape. Land-cover data, however, show that such conservation areas are not only internally heterogeneous, but that they are embedded in an equally heterogeneous landscape mosaic. The conservation value of a protected area is affected by this internal structure and by the spatial structure and dynamics of the landscape context. Because protected areas by themselves cannot ensure the persistence of biodiversity, it is necessary to include the broader surroundings of these areas in the conservation equation. These are the places where people live and work, so people and their activities are important features of landscape context. Land-cover data are essential to describing the internal and external texture of protected areas, but information on land use and land-use change is equally important if the conservation perspective is to be expanded from the traditional emphasis on protecting ñpretty placesî to include landscapes, people, and their uses of lands and waters.
Created: 12/14/2017 10:30 AM (ET)
Modified: 12/14/2017 10:30 AM (ET)
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