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Algonquin to the Adirondacks (A2A): Using circuit theory to measure landscape connectivity

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Algonquin to the Adirondacks (A2A): Using circuit theory to measure landscape connectivity

Roch, Laura (2015) Algonquin to the Adirondacks (A2A): Using circuit theory to measure landscape connectivity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The A2A region (93,369 km2) is a diverse landscape with rich biodiversity; and the preservation and restoration of this least degraded north-south corridor east of Lake Superior is a growing concern because of increasing use of this land for agriculture, urbanization, and construction of major highways. Modelling landscape connectivity, which is defined as the degree to which the landscape promotes movement, is central for conservation planning because of its importance for population viability. Electrical circuit theory has recently been incorporated within connectivity models to predict movement patterns and identify important areas or corridors of connectivity. This study used circuit theory to analyse the degree of landscape connectivity within the region between Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park and New York State’s Adirondack Park and identified three important ecological corridors for the movement of wildlife species. Fishers (Pekania pennanti) were used as an umbrella species to map the movement of multiple species and was calibrated with live-trapping data and validated with telemetry data. Even with the variations in resolution and focal node placement (the areas between which connectivity is measured), these three main pathways were always present. However, with the additional resistance of roads, the connectivity maps drastically changed, disrupting and almost eliminating all three of these movement corridors. A road mitigation scenario analysis, comparing various mitigation measures for a portion of highway 401 in Ontario, showed that placing wildlife structures at points of highest current is the best method to increase connectivity in this landscape.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Roch, Laura
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:21 February 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jaeger, Jochen
ID Code:979711
Deposited By: LAURA ROCH
Deposited On:13 Jul 2015 16:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49
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