Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2016, 5(2): 28-36
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Detecting and weighting the true corridors of species kinetics and gene flows: Linkage Flow Connectivity

Alessandro Ferrarini
Department of Evolutionary and Functional Biology, University of Parma, Via G. Saragat 4, I-43100 Parma, Italy

Received 25 January 2016;Accepted 2 February 2016;Published online 1 June 2016

Flow connectivity (FC) is a methodology, alternative and in opposition to both circuit theory and least-cost modelling, first introduced in 2013 to realistically forecast biotic flows over real landscapes. FC turns a static frictional map into a dynamical simulation of biotic flows from any source points indicated by the user. In this work, FC is further developed to find a solution to the problem of detecting the true corridors of species dispersals and gene flows. The output of this method is the realistic map of biotic corridors, determined in a bottom-up way by considering the interaction between landscape properties and species requirements, and not in a top-down approach based on the supposed expert knowledge of some researcher. Not only true corridors are mapped, but they are also automatically weighted based on their importance to support biotic flows. The same corridor can bear different levels of importance in different portions of its length. This outcome is pivotal from both conservation and management viewpoints. An applicative example is provided.

Keywords biotic shifts;dynamical GIS;flow connectivity;gene flow;landscape connectivity;landscape corridors;species dispersal;species conservation;species management.

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