We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
In a recent Landscape Ecology study "Yards increase forest connectivity in urban landscapes”, Australian and United States researchers analyse the importance of yard (garden) canopy connectivity in supporting biodiversity in the urban landscape of Boston, MS.
The JRC's GuidosToolbox software was used to analyse and quantify the entire tree canopy network spanning 1,220 of Boston’s neighbourhoods.
The analysis included the quantitative assessment of structural composition, connectivity and fragmentation to assess the configuration of the urban green-space potentially affecting tree-dependent wildlife species, such as some birds and arboreal mammals.
The GuidosToolbox metrics of pattern analysis and network connectivity were then related to the land use of 349,305 property parcels.
The study showed the importance of backyard tree canopy contributing most to the urban green network area as well as network links.
Urban land management and planning need to protect connectivity links within urban forests when located on private residential realm.
A prioritisation strategy aimed at expanding urban tree cover could focus on yards to ensure that urban landscape connectivity is maintained and increased.
This application is another example of how the provision of free JRC software can help promote and operationalise the application of JRC research.
The JRC’s free and user-friendly application GuidosToolbox offers unique analysis schemes for users across the globe to monitor forest fragmentation and landscape patterns at any scale.