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Understanding the importance of dynamic landscape connectivity

Formally Refereed
Authors: Katherine A. Zeller, Rebecca Lewsion, Robert J. Jr..Fletcher, Mirela G. Tulbure, Megan K. Jennings
Year: 2020
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Source: Land. 9: 303.


Landscape connectivity is increasingly promoted as a conservation tool to combat the negative effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. Given its importance as a key conservation strategy, connectivity science is a rapidly growing discipline. However, most landscape connectivity models consider connectivity for only a single snapshot in time, despite the widespread recognition that landscapes and ecological processes are dynamic. In this paper, we discuss the emergence of dynamic connectivity and the importance of including dynamism in connectivity models and assessments. We outline dynamic processes for both structural and functional connectivity at multiple spatiotemporal scales and provide examples of modeling approaches at each of these scales. We highlight the unique challenges that accompany the adoption of dynamic connectivity for conservation management and planning in the context of traditional conservation prioritization approaches. With the increased availability of time series and species movement data, computational capacity, and an expanding number of empirical examples in the literature, incorporating dynamic processes into connectivity models is more feasible than ever. Here, we articulate how dynamism is an intrinsic component of connectivity and integral to the future of connectivity science.


functional connectivity, structural connectivity, dynamic connectivity, corridor, wildlife conservation, biodiversity conservation


Zeller, Katherine A.; Lewsion, Rebecca; Fletcher, Robert J., Jr.; Tulbure, Mirela G.; Jennings, Megan K. 2020. Understanding the importance of dynamic landscape connectivity. Land. 9: 303.