The Effect of Rural Buildings on Landscape Fragmentation in Natura 2000 Sites: A Case Study in Sardinia

Ledda, Serra, De Montis
2019 Sustainability  
Landscape fragmentation (LF) is the process where habitat patches tend to become smaller and more isolated over time. It is mainly due to human activities and affects habitats, biodiversity, ecosystem balance, and ecological networks. Transport and mobility infrastructures and urbanized areas—also in the form of suburban and rural sprawl—contribute to LF and can be localized close to (or included in) Natura 2000 sites (N2000 sites). N2000 sites are set according to the Habitats and Birds
more » ... ves and consist of special protection areas, sites of community importance, and special areas of conservation, where LF may threaten habitat quality and species survival and dispersal. Then, new rules and planning approaches are called for defining effective protection measures. The knowledge of the context appears to be a priority to achieve such aims. Therefore, this study focuses on LF in N2000 sites. We apply the rural buildings fragmentation index (RBFI) and the effective mesh density (Seff) in six landscape units in Sardinia (Italy). Then, we report on the least and the most fragmented N2000 sites and assess if there is correlation between RBFI and Seff. In this study, RBFI and Seff provide not trivial outcomes, as they are weakly and positively correlated.
doi:10.3390/su11174695 fatcat:6i7n4sitengszlyv7wwie6orne