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A graph-based approach for assessing landscape ecological impacts of a highway project: from modelling to public reception

  • Bourgeois, Marc
  • Sahraoui, Yohan
  • DIETRICH, Judicaelle
Publication Date
Apr 23, 2019
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The development of new urban areas and linear transport infrastructure leads to an increase in road traffic and a gradual artificialization of the territory, resulting in a reduction in the ecological connectivity of animal species. Preserving ecological connectivity is essential to maintain the movement of animal species between their habitats, as its reduction can lead to a significant reduction in biodiversity. Since the 2000s, landscape graphs have been used to model the ecological networks of animal species as landscape graphs. This method allows quantifying connectivity using spatial metrics. Some studies are based on a prospective approach to assess the potential impact of different land-use planning scenarios such as the construction of a new highway or the development of new residential areas. These studies focus on the overall impacts of urban developments or major transport infrastructure at the scale of a territory (by global connectivity metrics) or habitat patches (by local metrics). However, few studies attempt to spatialize the potential connectivity of several animal species at any point in the territory. Sahraoui et al. (2017) have explored this type of approach by assessing the retrospective impact of different land use changes. Based on these observations, our work aims to address two main questions:- How to assess the ecological impact of a new highway using landscape graphs for several animal species?- How can these results be spatially represented to make them explicit for the scientific community, local stakeholders and the general public?

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