Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The ALCOR model

PROBLEM: Nature reserves are usually designated through a process where conservation objectives are in conflict with the economic uses of land. Solutions are often designed for individual reserves rather than for a whole set. As a result, protected spaces trend to have a minimum surface and to distribute arbitrarily across the territory. As a result, individual spaces must be self-contained, but usually they are not.

TARGET: The conservation objectives should be met through reserve networks that distribute a set of optimally conserved spaces in a matrix of land uses in variable states of conservation. Stability of the conservation system should be achieved by ensuring ecological connectivity between populations located in affined reserves. The non protected landscape in between presents variable degrees of resistance to such a flow. All these parameters should be quantifiable to assess 'what if' scenarios.

THE ALCOR (algorithm for the regional connectivity) SOLUTION: It estimates the regional connectivity given: the geographical distribution of a species; its ecological or environmental niche; and a geographic framework. The model is based on the geometric complexity of cost surfaces representing the cumulative effort to reach every cell of the territory from its nearest population. The results are: a connectivity map; a map of ecological corridors; and a parameter assessing the geographical scale at which the extinction of every population is relevant at the regional scale. The model is sensitive to the statistical and spatial distributions of both the species populations and the external factors controlling its transit. A demonstration data set is available.

More information on the QUILT project can be found at:

Related information

Reported by

Estacion Experimental de Zonas Aridas (CSIC)
General Segura 1
04001 Almeria
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