Investigator:

Danielle Rappaport

Advisor: Florencia Montagnini

Description:

The objective of this paper is to provide practitioners with a relatively simple protocol by which sites for restoration can be prioritized. Methods for prioritizing site selection are based on landscape-scale ecological principles that increase connectivity and interior core habitat within a forest mosaic.

Applying this technique to the 69,170 ha Conduru-Esperança Minicorridor case study, I generated a restoration prioritization model that quantifies the relative degree to which the conversion of each non-forested parcel to forest would increase the overall connectivity of the landscape.  I substantiated the effectiveness of the model through a subsequent analysis of landscape structure through the use of the statistical program FRAGSTATS, which I used to generate fragmentation indices that correspond to the shape, size, isolation, and edge of all the comprising forest fragments.  From analyzing the fragmentation indices applied to a hypothetical scenario in which a random portion of the pixels recommended by the model were restored to forest, I conclude that this model offers a valid means to allocate restoration sites with the aim of enhancing landscape connectivity.