JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT - Pathways for achieving conservation targets under metacoupled anthropogenic disturbances

February 27, 2024 - Yi Li, Qihao Jin, Zhixue Chen, Bingchao Yin, Yangfan Li, <>


Enhancing connectivity between protected areas stands as a paramount objective in advancing global conservation goals, particularly in coastal regions grappling with escalating human disruptions. However, little attention has been given to quantitative assessment of human-nature interactions within and among protected areas. Here, we endeavored to model the connectivity between protected areas in rapidly urbanizing regions in China, drawing on insights from the framework of metacoupling based on connected corridors at short and long distances. In alignment with the overarching global conservation aim of increasing the overall coverage of protected areas, we found that adding new site to the protected area system yields superior connectivity gains compared to merely expanding the boundaries of the existing sites. Within the connectivity network between protected areas, we discerned specific sites acting as stepping stones, pivotal in enhancing connectivity among the chosen protected areas. Our study propounds a pragmatic methodology for prioritizing local protection initiatives and underscores the criticality of incorporating connectivity conservation strategies. This approach is vital for attaining regional biodiversity targets, given the dual perspective encompassing both human activities and the natural environment, particularly in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbances.


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