Effects of protection on amount and structure of forest cover at two scales in Bozin and Marakhil protected area, Iran

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Conference Proceeding

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Official protection can play a major role in the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable management of endangered species habitat. Bozin and Marakhil Forest in Kermanshah province of Iran covers 23,724 ha of semi-arid Zagros forests. It was designated as a protected habitat area for Eurasian roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in 1999, a species that thrives on forest edge habitat. Using remote sensing data from 2001 and 2009, we evaluated the effects of this protected designation on forest area and structure at two spatial scales. We processed and classified Landsat images for the two dates covering the protected area and the adjacent unprotected areas for the broad scale analysis. We classified IKONOS and GeoEye images of the two dates covering a part of protected and unprotected areas for fine scale analysis. Protection had a scale dependent influence on habitat availability and structure. A small difference due to protection at the fine scale was increased fractal dimension of forest patches as a measure of habitat complexity, likely due to reduced human impact. The official protection maintained habitat availability, contiguity, and complexity at the broad scale, probably at the expense of increasing human pressure on the surrounding unprotected areas. Given this scale dependency of protection effects on habitat amount and structure, the actual effects of protection would depend on the practical home range size and scale at which species use the habitats.

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© 2011 by the authors. Publisher’s version of record: https://sciforum.net/conference/wsf/paper/686/download/pdf

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1st World Sustainability Forum e-conference

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.