ECOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF LAND: SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON APPROACHES AND SHORTCOMINGS
Free (open access)
Volume 1 (2006), Issue 4
419 - 428
The ecological evaluation of land aims at providing information that can be used to support decision making in nature conservation. It can be seen as the link between the science of ecology and the practice of land management. This paper presents a review of the approaches proposed in the literature to perform ecological evaluation, focusing in particular on the different objectives and criteria, as well as on the way in which they are assessed and on the use of relevant indicators. In addition, the paper proposes a survey on the shortcomings found in current applications. The main problems affecting the practice of ecological evaluation concern the structuring of the evaluation framework: objectives are often poorly defined and not clearly linked to the relevant criteria. In turn, the criteria show problems of correlation and are seldom assessed by means of explicit indicators. This clouds the overall results of the evaluation and undermines their practical use in planning-related procedures.
criteria, ecosystems, evaluation, indicators, landscape ecology.