Volume XVII |

Modelling intact forest landscapes habitats quality at global scales through the use of landscape ecology methods

Abstract: Modelling intact forest landscapes (IFL) quality as habitats for various species represents a crucial aspect concerning wildlife conservation. Landscape ecology provides a rice pallet of metrics suitable for quantifying complex relationships between landscapes structure and function. Our research aims to conduct an ecological diagnosis of the 2013 non-altered IFL patches as optimal habitats for both edge and interior preferring species by taking into account their spatial adjacency to altered IFL patches by fire related and non-fire related causes between 2003 and 2013 through the use of the Edge Contrast Index Metric and the Core Area Index Metric. Our results evidence that none of the world geographical forest regions suffered potential ecological dysfunctions as habitats for either interior or edge dwelling species. However, the equatorial forest zones of Africa, America and Asia are characterized by alarming low levels of habitat quality which in the future can generate severe malfunctions.