Livestock Trails as Keystone Structural Connectors for Pastureland Analysis Based on Remote Sensing and Structural Connectivity Assessment

Javier Gutiérrez, Javier Velázquez, Jacobo Rodríguez, Ana Hernando, Inmaculada Gómez, Fernando Herráez, Aida López-Sánchez
2021 Sustainability  
This paper presents a methodology to study the connectivity that livestock trails can offer to guarantee the transit of organisms and access to pasturelands. In this regard, a connectivity analysis was carried out in two scenarios: Basic Scenario (Scenario 1: pasture) and Extended Scenario (Scenario 2: pasture + livestock trails) by using the Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA). The result of structural connectivity analysis, MSPA, showed that livestock trails reduce the fragmentation
more » ... e the fragmentation of the optimal terrain (pasturelands) for livestock activity, since the effective corridors are more numerous, and the edge effect is also reduced. Therefore, MSPA analysis allows the classification of any landscape typology at the pixel level and mapping of corridor structures (connecting elements) and other categories of spatial patterns on a continental scale. The results of the study show the importance of carrying out this type of analysis in different times of the year, detecting the evolution of connectivity throughout the year. Spring months and larger areas of pastureland offer the best conditions for the movements of organisms. This study aims to provide useful information for landscape or territorial planning, and it could be used to improve the management of wildlife dependent on high quality pastures, as well as to promote the management of semi-extensive livestock.
doi:10.3390/su13115971 fatcat:etsl6febkzesnmgn4s3jdeatv4