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Species sensitivity concept as an approach for landscape evaluation

Year of publication1999
Author(s)Lorenzo Fornasari
Co-authorsBani Luciano, de Carli Elisabetta, Massa Renato
Number of pages5
Magazine No.120 Suppl
Publication typeJournal article
Landscape evaluation is important in the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. The objective of this paper is to review and explore methods for evaluation of landscapes for ecosystem planning. Ecosystem planning is the process of land use decision-making that considers organisms and processes that characterize the ecosystem as a whole. Risk assessments, precautionary principles, adaptive management and scenario approaches are adopted to cope with the uncertainty of nature, which is an obstacle in ecosystem planning. Special attention is needed in the analysis of status and troubleshooting in the planning scheme, which is a selection of the appropriate approach and model to find problems in the present situation. There are two approaches to set targets in ecosystem planning, the species approach and the ecosystem approach. The species approach aims to protect particular species, and the ecosystem approach aims to protect total ecosystems including the species. In Europe, ecotope or biotope mapping has been developed in ecosystem planning. An ecotope is often identified by vegetation that represents a group of wildlife, but many species require combinations of different ecotopes. Landscapes have come to be recognized as a unit for ecosystem planning. Potential assessment is a method to estimate a potential of a local space or a landscape to realize an ecosystem or speciesrsquo habitat, and this method has been used in HEP and GAP analysis in the USA and Ecological Networks in Europe. Some examples of ecosystem planning of national and regional scales in Japan are introduced.