The reduction of habitat fragmentation consequences in various types of landscape in the Czech Republic

Dept 58 - International Relations Department
Dept 58 - International Relations Department

Published

Project
RegionNational coverage
Title of the ProgrammeBiodiversity and Ecosystem Services & Environmental Monitoring and Integrated Planning Control & Adaptation to Climate Change
Title of the ProjectThe reduction of habitat fragmentation consequences in various types of landscape in the Czech Republic
Number of the Project---
Project Promoter

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

www.czu.cz

Objective of the Project

Fragmentation of habitats is a process of transforming continuous tracts of habitats to a bigger number of small surfaces, separated by the territory of another character. This process may be accompanied by a series of accompanying events (loss of habitat area, isolation of fragments, growth of ecotonal phenomenon, surface division by lines) with a negative impact on biodiversity. Fragmentation of ecosystems is closely related to the loss of landscape connectivity (the possibility of transferring individuals between the source areas). Impacts of habitat fragmentation and loss of their connectivity are specific by species. In general, species with limited ability of spreading and narrow ecological valence are more endangered by fragmentation. For effective and comprehensive protection of biodiversity in the Czech Republic it is necessary to evaluate the real degree of fragmentation of different habitats and impacts on model groups of organisms with different sensitivity and thereby identify the problematic areas, where targeted management will be directed. The project is aimed at a comprehensive assessment of the risks of fragmentation for the landscape as a whole as well as selected groups of organisms, mitigating the effects of fragmentation and remedy for the current situation. Thematically, it is divided into 11 sub-areas. At the level of the country as a whole the determination of the optimal block size of arable land in search of a balance between economic and environmental requirements is important, followed by incorporation of knowledge into the landscaping and other landscape processes. In the part which evaluates the fragmentation and connectivity of habitats in the Czech Republic these are the evaluations of time trends in connectivity and the preparation of data for maps for the analysis of the real fragmentation and connectivity of ecosystems in the Czech Republic in terms of species with different spreading characteristics. Within the complex view on the level of larger taxons birds, amphibians and lichens were selected. Current data on the occurrence of breeding birds in the Czech Republic as an indicator of fragmentation of landscape elements will allow to assess the changes in the distribution of all bird species in model types of landscape at the regional level as well as across the whole Czech Republic. For amphibians the goal is the prediction and validation of critical stretches for amphibians on roads and analysis of factors that contribute most to mortality. In the case of lichens as indicators of fragmentation of primeval forest covers of the Czech Republic it is an analysis of the status of these ecosystems based on a detailed inventorying of the biodiversity of epiphytic lichens. Due to a high fragmentation of wetland habitats this environment was selected for a comprehensive assessment in terms of multiple influences; one of them is the influence of site conditions on the occurrence and abundance of wintering waterbirds at the national level in the Czech Republic, the outcome of which was a proposal for measures aimed at creating a network of sites to ensure the stability of the wintering populations. Another objective is to evaluate the abundance and survival of pups of waterbirds in conditions of fragmented pond areas and assessing the factors that influence them. Within the field of landscape and wetlands meadow species of waders, especially lapwing, will be studied in order to assess the possibilities to support their existing nesting sites in the fragmented field landscape. A compendium of nesting places across the Czech Republic with concretization of efficiency and perspectives of their protection will be elaborated, including the possibility of employment of agro-environmental programs on grasses and arable land. When targeting on specific environments contributing to fragmentation of habitats the issues of highways as potential migration corridors and refuges of invertebrates will be solved. It includes a comprehensive evaluation of the importance of highways for the diversity of invertebrates with different life strategies and mobility in order to assess the role of highway embankments and slots as migration routes or refuges of viable populations and colonization centers for follow-up landscape. Quarries are a very specific fragmented environment strengthening the biodiversity of the landscape, where the objective is to assess their importance for the diversity of invertebrates at the national level also in the case of different geological background and character of the surrounding landscape. Necrophagous beetles are an important component of the insect fauna that are a subject to the general fragmentation of habitats. Here the aim is to collect data on changes in distribution of selected species and propose measures ensuring the permeability of the landscape for these species.

 

Approved grant

Approximately 460 827 EUR

Project DurationStart date: 1st January 2015, End date: 30th April 2016