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Modeling the spatio-temporal dynamics and the interactions of households, landscapes, and giant panda habitat

Publication Abstract

Linderman, M.A., L. An, S. Bearer, G.M. He, Z.Y. Ouyang, and Jianguo Liu. 2005. "Modeling the spatio-temporal dynamics and the interactions of households, landscapes, and giant panda habitat." Ecological Modelling, 183(1): 47-65.

Human modification of land-cover has been a leading cause of floral and faunal species extirpation and loss of local and global biodiversity. As natural areas are impacted, habitat and populations can become fragmented and isolated. This is particularly evident in the mountainous areas of southwestern China that support the remaining populations of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Giant panda populations have been restricted to remnants of habitat from extensive past land use and land-cover change. Households are a basic socio-economic unit that continues to impact the remaining habitat through activities such as fuelwood consumption and new household creation. Therefore, we developed a spatio-temporal model of human activities and their impacts by directly integrating households into the landscape. The integrated model allows us to examine the landscape factors influencing the spatial distribution of household activities and household impacts on habitat. As an example application, we modeled household activities in a giant panda reserve in China and examined the spatio-temporal dynamics of households, the landscape, and their mutual interactions. Human impacts are projected to result in the loss of up to 16% of all existing habitat within the reserve over the next 30 years. In addition, we found that accessibility largely controls the spatial distribution of household activities and considerable changes in management and household activities will be required to maintain the current level of habitat within the reserve.

DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2004.07.026 (Full Text)

Country of focus: China.

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