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Browsing by Subject "spatial conservation"

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  • Mikkonen, Ninni (2012)
    The purpose of this master's thesis is to study nature values within the Finnish national Natura 2000 network on state owned land. The six goals of this work were achieved: 1) Areas with most nature values were identified by prioritizing habitats of Natura 2000 directive (92/43/EU) within. Areas with high nature value were usually in very natural state and had good connectivity to other similar places, or they were spots of some very rare nature types. 2) It was found out that data used was suitable for identifying conservation values, 3) find out the suitability of Zonation software in conservation area management and maintenance planning and 4) find out how results will change if conservation status is taken into account. As an addition to these 5) the most considerable areas with high conservation value were identified and 6) "Zonation software in a nutshell" was produced in Finnish to assist Finnish state officials to use the software for conservation purposes. These results will help Metsähallitus (The Finnish Forest and Park Service) - Natural Heritage Service - to target resourcing of habitat management and restoration in and around the areas with most considerable nature values. It is essential to sustain these areas and their values so that their nationwide importance can be maintained into the future. Data used in this study covered areas that were classified as Natura 2000 habitats according to European Union Council Directive 92/43/EEC. Analyses were done by using Zonation software, a tool for spatial conservation prioritization. Data consisted of 68 Natura 2000 habitat types and their state of naturalness and representativeness. Zonation took into account the rarity, quality, importance, threat status, biodiversity value, congruity and connectivity of these habitat types. As a result software produces a map of conservation priorities and associated quantitative information, which facilitate identification of areas with most considerable nature values. These were identified both ocularly and with Zonation software. Analyses were done at two levels: all habitat types together and in subgroups following division to major habitat types, such as coastal environments, inland waters, meadows, alpine habitats, peat lands, rocky areas and forests. Results showed that connectivity increased aggregation of areas with high nature values and weighting spread them. Hierarchical analysis was used to find out how nature values changed when the conservation status of the areas were taken into account. The results of hierarchical analysis show that conservation status changed the results a lot. Difference between main analysis and hierarchical analysis was much greater than when taken into account connectivity of feature weights. Hierarchical comparison revealed that many areas with considerable high nature values areas are not presently strictly protected.