Browsing by Subject "Zonation software"

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  • Jalkanen, Joel; Fabritius, Henna; Vierikko, Kati; Moilanen, Atte; Toivonen, Tuuli (2020)
    Maintaining enough green areas and ensuring fair access to them is a common planning challenge in growing and densifying cities. Evaluations of green area access typically use metrics like population around green areas (within a certain buffer), but these do not fully ensure equitable access. We propose that using systematic and complementarity-driven spatial prioritization, often used in nature conservation planning, could assist in the complex planning challenge. Here, we demonstrate the use of spatial prioritization to identify green areas with highest recreational potential based on their type and their accessibility for the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the capital district of Finland. We calculated travel times from each city district to each green area. Travel times were calculated separately to local green areas using active travel modes (walking and biking), and to large forests (attracting people from near and far) using public transport. We prioritized the green areas using these multimodal travel times from each district and weighting the prioritization with population data with Zonation, conservation prioritization software. Compared to a typical buffer analysis (population within a 500 m buffer from green areas), our approach identified areas of high recreational potential in different parts of the study area. This approach allows systematic integration of travel-time-based accessibility measures into equitable spatial prioritization of recreational green areas. It can help urban planners to identify sets of green areas that best support the recreational needs of the residents across the city.
  • Virtanen, Elina A.; Viitasalo, Markku; Lappatainen, Juho; Moilanen, Atte (2018)
  • Jalkanen, Joel; Toivonen, Tuuli; Moilanen, Atte (2020)
    Context Spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) has most often been applied to the design of reserve network expansion. In addition to occurrences of species and habitats inside protected area candidate sites, one may also be interested about network-level connectivity considerations. Objectives We applied SCP to the identification of ecological networks to inform the development of a new regional plan for the region of Uusimaa (South-Finland, including the Finnish capital district). Methods Input data were 59 high-quality layers of biotope and species distribution data. We identified ecological networks based on a combination of a Zonation balanced priority ranking map and a weighted range size rarity map, to account for both relative and absolute conservation values in the process. We also identified ecological corridors between protected areas and other ecologically high-priority areas using the corridor retention method of Zonation. Furthermore, we identified candidate sites for habitat restoration. Results We found seven large ecological networks (132-1201 km(2)) which stand out from their surrounding landscape in terms of ecological value and have clear connectivity bottlenecks between them. Highest restoration needs were found between large high-priority sites that are connected via remnant habitat fragments in comparatively highly modified areas. Conclusions Land conversion should be avoided in areas of highest ecological priorities and network-level connectivity. Restoration should be considered for connectivity bottlenecks. Methods described here can be applied in any location where relevant spatial data are available. The present results are actively used by the regional council and municipalities in the region of Uusimaa.
  • Di Minin, Enrico; Soutullo, Alvaro; Bartesaghi, Lucia; Rios, Mariana; Szephegyi, Maria Nube; Moilanen, Atte (2017)
    Gaps in research exist for country-wide analyses to identify areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services to help reach Aichi Target 11 in developing countries. Here we provide a spatial conservation prioritization approach that ranks landowners for maximizing the representation of biodiversity features and ecosystem services, while exploring the trade-offs with agricultural and commercial forestry production and land cost, using Uruguay as a case study. Specifically, we explored four policy scenarios, ranging from a business as usual scenario where only biodiversity and ecosystem services were included in the analysis to a potentially unsustainable scenario where expansion of alternative land uses and economic development would be given higher priority over biodiversity and ecosystem services. At the 17% land target proposed for conservation, the representation levels for biodiversity and ecosystem services were, on average, higher under the business as usual scenario. However, a small addition to the proposed target (from 17 to 20%) allowed to meet same representation levels for biodiversity and ecosystem services, while decreasing conflict with agricultural and commercial forestry production and opportunity costs to local landowners. Under the unsustainable scenario, a striking 41% addition to the conservation target (from 17 to 58%) was needed to meet same representation levels for threatened ecosystems and ecosystem services, which are crucial to sustain human well-being. Our results highlight that more realistic and potentially higher conservation targets, than politically set targets, can be achieved at the country level when sustainable development needs are also accounted for. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Paloniemi, Riikka; Hujala, Teppo; Rantala, Salla; Harlio, Kirsi Annika; Salomaa, Anna Alina; Primmer, Eeva; Pynnönen, Sari; Arponen, Anni Katri Ilona (2018)
    Improving the effectiveness of voluntary biodiversity policies requires developing trans-disciplinary conservation plans that consider social constraints to achieving ecological objectives. We integrated data on landowners' willingness to participate in voluntary conservation efforts with ecological data on conservation values in a spatial prioritization, and found that doing so considerably reduced the loss in conservation value caused by landowners' reluctance to participate. We learned that conducting prioritization with stakeholder input gained through dialogue during field visits could be beneficial for increasing the legitimacy of conservation plans with stakeholders. Thus, in addition to developing a methodology for using data on stakeholder perceptions of conservation in spatial prioritization, our study suggests that engaging landowners and other stakeholders in the conservation prioritization process will improve the success of conservation plans.
  • Virtanen, Elina A.; Moilanen, Atte; Viitasalo, Markku (2020)
    Context Spatial prioritization is an analytical approach that can be used to provide decision support in spatial conservation planning (SCP), and in tasks such as conservation area network design, zoning, planning for impact avoidance or targeting of habitat management or restoration. Methods Based on literature, we summarize the role of connectivity as one component of relevance in the broad structure of spatial prioritization in both marine and terrestrial realms. Results Partially diffuse, directed connectivity can be approximated in Zonation-based multi-criteria SCP by applying hydrodynamic modelling, knowledge on species traits, and information on species occurrences and quality of habitats. Sources and destinations of larvae or propagules can be identified as separate spatial layers and taken into account in full-scale spatial prioritization involving data on biota, as well as economic factors, threats, and administrative constraints. While population connectivity is an important determinant of metapopulation persistence, the importance of marine connectivity depends on species traits and the marine environment studied. At one end of the continuum are species that occupy isolated habitats and have long pelagic larval durations in deeper sea areas with strong directional currents. At the other extreme are species with short pelagic durations that occupy fragmented habitats in shallow topographically complex sea areas with weak and variable currents. Conclusions We conclude that the same objectives, methods, and analysis structures are applicable to both terrestrial and marine spatial prioritization. Marine spatial conservation planning, marine spatial planning, marine zoning, etc., can be implemented using methods originated in the terrestrial realm of planning.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona; Moilanen, Atte (2013)
    Spatial conservation prioritization concerns the effective allocation of conservation action. Its stages include development of an ecologically based model of conservation value, data pre-processing, spatial prioritization analysis, and interpretation of results for conservation action. Here we investigate the details of each stage for analyses done using the Zonation prioritization framework. While there is much literature about analytical methods implemented in Zonation, there is only scattered information available about what happens before and after the computational analysis. Here we fill this information gap by summarizing the pre-analysis and post-analysis stages of the Zonation framework. Concerning the entire process, we summarize the full workflow and list examples of operational best-case, worst- case, and typical scenarios for each analysis stage. We discuss resources needed in different analysis stages. We also discuss benefits, disadvantages, and risks involved in the application of spatial prioriti- zation from the perspective of different stakeholders. Concerning pre-analysis stages, we explain the development of the ecological model and discuss the setting of priority weights and connectivity re- sponses. We also explain practical aspects of data pre-processing and the post-processing interpretation of results for different conservation objectives. This work facilitates well-informed design and application of Zonation analyses for the purpose of spatial conservation planning. It should be useful for both sci- entists working on conservation related research as well as for practitioners looking for useful tools for conservation resource allocation
  • Trivino, Maria; Kujala, Heini; Araujo, Miguel B.; Cabeza, Mar (2018)
    Species are expected to shift their distributions in response to global environmental changes and additional protected areas are needed to encompass the corresponding changes in the distributions of their habitats. Conservation policies are likely to become obsolete unless they integrate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change on biodiversity. We identify conservation priority areas for current and future projected distributions of Iberian bird species. We then investigate the extent to which global change informed priority areas are: (i) covered by existing protected area networks (national protected areas and Natura 2000); (ii) threatened by agricultural or urban land-use changes. We use outputs of species distributions models fitted with climatic data as inputs in spatial prioritization tools to identify conservation priority areas for 168 bird species. We use projections of land-use change to then discriminate between threatened and non-threatened priority areas. 19% of the priority areas for birds are covered by national protected areas and 23% are covered by Natura 2000 sites. The spatial mismatch between protected area networks and priority areas for birds is projected to increase with climate change. But there are opportunities to improve the protection of birds under climate change, as half of the priority areas are currently neither protected nor in conflict with urban or agricultural land-uses. We identify critical areas for bird conservation both under current and climate change conditions, and propose that they could guide the establishment of new conservation areas across the Iberian Peninsula complementing existing protected areas.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Girardello, Marco; Buechley, Evan; Botha, Andre; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte Jaakko (2019)
    The prosperity and well-being of human societies relies on healthy ecosystems and the services they provide. However, the biodiversity crisis is undermining ecosystems services and functions. Vultures are among the most imperiled taxonomic groups on Earth, yet they have a fundamental ecosystem function. These obligate scavengers rapidly consume large amounts of carrion and human waste, a service that may aid in both disease prevention and control of mammalian scavengers, including feral dogs, which in turn threaten humans. We combined information about the distribution of all 15 vulture species found in Europe, Asia, and Africa with their threats and used detailed expert knowledge on threat intensity to prioritize critical areas for conserving vultures in Africa and Eurasia. Threats we identified included poisoning, mortality due to collision with wind energy infrastructures, and other anthropogenic activities related to human land use and influence. Areas important for vulture conservation were concentrated in southern and eastern Africa, South Asia, and the Iberian Peninsula, and over 80% of these areas were unprotected. Some vulture species required larger areas for protection than others. Finally, countries that had the largest share of all identified important priority areas for vulture conservation were those with the largest expenditures related to rabies burden (e.g., India, China, and Myanmar). Vulture populations have declined markedly in most of these countries. Restoring healthy vulture populations through targeted actions in the priority areas we identified may help restore the ecosystem services vultures provide, including sanitation and potentially prevention of diseases, such as rabies, a heavy burden afflicting fragile societies. Our findings may guide stakeholders to prioritize actions where they are needed most in order to achieve international goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
  • Lehtomäki, Joona Aleksi; Moilanen, Atte Jaakko; Toivonen, Tuuli Kaarina; Leathwick, John (University of Helsinki, 2016)
    Zonation is decision support software for land use planning, including uses such as traditional design of conservation area networks or spatial impact avoidance. It is capable of data rich, large scale, high-resolution spatial prioritization. Whether using Zonation for scientific research or in real-life planning, running a successful project involves several project stages that often proceed in a somewhat iterative fashion. This document provides an overview of what those stages are, and what types of issues should be considered when planning to use Zonation. This information is intended for any individual or organization that is considering making use of Zonation. The topics addressed here are those encountered before and after the Zonation prioritization analysis itself: - Budgeting for time and resources - Setting objectives and planning how to meet them - Building a model for spatial prioritization - Data requirements and pre-processing - Setting up and organizing Zonation input files - Visualizing and interpreting the results - Creating planning products Zonation projects are also demonstrated through a set of case-studies that range from national to global scales.
  • Lehtomaki, Joona; Kusumoto, Buntarou; Shiono, Takayuki; Tanaka, Takayuki; Kubota, Yasuhiro; Moilanen, Atte (2019)
    Aim On the basis of multitaxon biogeographical processes related to region-specific geohistory and palaeoclimate, we identified a balanced and area-effective protected area network (PAN) expansion in the East Asian islands, a global biodiversity hotspot. Location Japanese archipelago, Ryukyu archipelago and Izu-Bonin oceanic islands. Methods We modelled the distributions of 6,325 species (amphibians, birds, freshwater fish, mammals, plants and reptiles) using 4,389,489 occurrence data points. We then applied the Zonation software for spatial conservation prioritization. First, we identified environmental drivers underpinning taxon-specific biodiversity patterns. Second, we analysed each taxon individually to understand baseline priority patterns. Third, we combined all taxa into an inclusive analysis to identify the most important PAN expansions. Results Biodiversity patterns were well explained by geographical factors (climate, habitat stability, isolation and area), but their explanatory power differed between the taxa. There was remarkably little overlap between priority areas for the individual higher taxa. The inclusive prioritization analysis across all taxa identified priority regions, in particular in southern subtropical and mountainous areas. Expanding the PAN up to 17% would cover most of the ranges for rare and/or restricted-range species. On average, approximately 30% of the ranges of all species could be covered by the 17% expansion identified here. Main conclusions Our analyses identified top candidates for the expansion of Japan's protected area network. Taxon-specific prioritization was informative for understanding the conservation priority patterns of different taxa associated with unique biogeographical processes. For the basis of PAN expansion, we recommend multi-taxon prioritization as an area-efficient compromise that reflects taxon-specific priority patterns. Spatial prioritization across multiple taxa provides a promising start for the development of conservation plans with the aim of long-term persistence of biodiversity on the East Asian islands.
  • Mikkonen, Ninni (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The purpose of this master's thesis is to study nature values within the Finnish national Natura 2000 network on state owned land. The six goals of this work were achieved: 1) Areas with most nature values were identified by prioritizing habitats of Natura 2000 directive (92/43/EU) within. Areas with high nature value were usually in very natural state and had good connectivity to other similar places, or they were spots of some very rare nature types. 2) It was found out that data used was suitable for identifying conservation values, 3) find out the suitability of Zonation software in conservation area management and maintenance planning and 4) find out how results will change if conservation status is taken into account. As an addition to these 5) the most considerable areas with high conservation value were identified and 6) "Zonation software in a nutshell" was produced in Finnish to assist Finnish state officials to use the software for conservation purposes. These results will help Metsähallitus (The Finnish Forest and Park Service) - Natural Heritage Service - to target resourcing of habitat management and restoration in and around the areas with most considerable nature values. It is essential to sustain these areas and their values so that their nationwide importance can be maintained into the future. Data used in this study covered areas that were classified as Natura 2000 habitats according to European Union Council Directive 92/43/EEC. Analyses were done by using Zonation software, a tool for spatial conservation prioritization. Data consisted of 68 Natura 2000 habitat types and their state of naturalness and representativeness. Zonation took into account the rarity, quality, importance, threat status, biodiversity value, congruity and connectivity of these habitat types. As a result software produces a map of conservation priorities and associated quantitative information, which facilitate identification of areas with most considerable nature values. These were identified both ocularly and with Zonation software. Analyses were done at two levels: all habitat types together and in subgroups following division to major habitat types, such as coastal environments, inland waters, meadows, alpine habitats, peat lands, rocky areas and forests. Results showed that connectivity increased aggregation of areas with high nature values and weighting spread them. Hierarchical analysis was used to find out how nature values changed when the conservation status of the areas were taken into account. The results of hierarchical analysis show that conservation status changed the results a lot. Difference between main analysis and hierarchical analysis was much greater than when taken into account connectivity of feature weights. Hierarchical comparison revealed that many areas with considerable high nature values areas are not presently strictly protected.
  • Verhagen, Willem; Kukkala, Aija S.; Moilanen, Atte; van Teeffelen, Astrid J. A.; Verburg, Peter H. (2017)
    Policies and research increasingly focus on the protection of ecosystem services (ESs) through priority-area conservation. Priority areas for ESs should be identified based on ES capacity and ES demand and account for the connections between areas of ES capacity and demand (flow) resulting in areas of unique demand-supply connections (flow zones). We tested ways to account for ES demand and flow zones to identify priority areas in the European Union. We mapped the capacity and demand of a global (carbon sequestration), a regional (flood regulation), and 3 local ESs (air quality, pollination, and urban leisure). We used Zonation software to identify priority areas for ESs based on 6 tests: with and without accounting for ES demand and 4 tests that accounted for the effect of ES flow zone. There was only 37.1% overlap between the 25% of priority areas that encompassed the most ESs with and without accounting for ES demand. The level of ESs maintained in the priority areas increased from 23.2% to 57.9% after accounting for ES demand, especially for ESs with a small flow zone. Accounting for flow zone had a small effect on the location of priority areas and level of ESs maintained but resulted in fewer flow zones without ES maintained relative to ignoring flow zones. Accounting for demand and flow zones enhanced representation and distribution of ESs with local to regional flow zones without large trade-offs relative to the global ES. We found that ignoring ES demand led to the identification of priority areas in remote regions where benefits from ES capacity to society were small. Incorporating ESs in conservation planning should therefore always account for ES demand to identify an effective priority network for ESs.
  • Kullberg, Peter; Di Minin, Enrico; Moilanen, Atte (2019)
    Using spatial prioritization, we identify priority areas for the expansion of the global protected area network. We identify a set of unprotected key biodiversity areas (KBAs) that would efficiently complement the current protected area network in terms of coverage of ranges of terrestrial vertebrates. We show that protecting a small fraction (0.36%) of terrestrial area within KBAs could increase conservation coverage of ranges of threatened vertebrates by on average 14.7 percentage points. We also identify areas outside both the protected area and KBA networks that would further complement the priority KBAs. These areas are likely to hold populations of species that are poorly protected or covered by KBAs, and where on-the-ground surveys might confirm suitability for KBA designation or protection. (c) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (