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Open AccessArticle

Prioritizing Green Spaces for Biodiversity Conservation in Beijing Based on Habitat Network Connectivity

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Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modelling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS), Beijing 100875, China
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Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9500, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
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Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
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Center for Healthy Cities, Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072042
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
Rapid urbanization results in changes in land use, biogeochemical cycles, climate, hydrosystems, and biodiversity. Policy-makers have formulated ecological protection measures to facilitate sustainable development. However, traditional conservation planning mainly focuses on protecting specific green spaces, with limited consideration of the connectivity among green spaces from a habitat network perspective. Using citizen science data and occupancy modelling, we predicted habitat suitability, built habitat networks and identified key habitat patches based on their contribution to the functional connectivity of the habitat network for three focal water, forest, and open-habitat bird species. Based on the habitat requirement, small waterbodies and intermediate forest and open-habitat cover facilitate preserving water, forest and open-habitat birds. In regards to the network analysis, we found that key habitat patches with a high conservation priority were generally characterized by a relatively large patch size and/or located at critical positions in the habitat network (at central positions in the habitat network, or near large patches). We suggest that key habitat patches in restricted built-up areas are converted to protected areas or are kept as cropland under future urban planning. We emphasize the usefulness of the focal species concept in urban biodiversity conservation. Our study offers conservation recommendations from a habitat network perspective for urban planners to safeguard urban biodiversity and ecosystem health. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest birds; focal species; habitat suitability; open-habitat birds; occupancy model; restricted built-up areas; urban ecological planning; water birds forest birds; focal species; habitat suitability; open-habitat birds; occupancy model; restricted built-up areas; urban ecological planning; water birds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lv, Z.; Yang, J.; Wielstra, B.; Wei, J.; Xu, F.; Si, Y. Prioritizing Green Spaces for Biodiversity Conservation in Beijing Based on Habitat Network Connectivity. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2042.

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