New corridor tools, and a new way of deciding which tool you should use

Add another tool to your toolbox for delineating corridors in the landscape: LandScape Corridors.

LandScape Corridors is a new, open-source program that uses least-cost path analysis to simulate multiple corridors across very large landscapes (ex. the size of the entire Atlantic Forest in Brazil). It incorporates four different methods to simulate corridors, three of which include spatial context in the modeling.

How is this tool different than others?  It introduces a new approach for corridor design by including in the simulation both user-defined stochastic variation in the resistance surface and landscape influence on organisms.  It also considers how individual species perceive the landscape around them in different ways (and thus respond to it differently).  The end result is not a single path, but rather a simulation of multiple paths that can be taken from source to target patch.

Key features to keep in mind about the LandScape Corridors tool:

  • Requires the use of the free Geographic Information System GRASS GIS
  • Requires two input raster layers: a resistance surface layer, and layer of pixels identified as source-target patches
  • Currently available only to users of Windows, Linux, and Ubuntu, but a Mac version is expected soon
  • Includes a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) – no programming skills needed

If you’re still stuck on which tool might be most useful to your specific project, check out ConservationCorridor.org’s new Connectivity Tool Decision Guide.  It guides you through a short number of simple questions about your needs and skills, and suggests one or even multiple programs or websites that might be useful.  Keep checking back – new programs are added regularly.

Resources

LandScape Corridors at GitHub

Connectivity Tool Decision Guide

Ribeiro, J. W., dos Santos, J. S., Dodonov, P., Martello, F., Niebuhr, B. B., & Ribeiro, M. C. 2017. Landscape Corridors (LSCorridors): a new software package for modeling ecological corridors based on landscape patterns and species requirements. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12750.
2017-04-18T10:46:31+00:00 April 18th, 2017|

About the Author:

Heather Cayton

Heather Cayton is the Managing Director of ConservationCorridor.org and a Research Technician at North Carolina State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her M.S. from Virginia Tech, and has spent the past eight years studying corridors and rare butterflies in North Carolina.