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Metapopulation perspective to institutional fit: maintenance of dynamic habitat networks

Henna Fabritius, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki; Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Ari Jokinen, Faculty of Management (Environmental Policy), University of Tampere
Mar Cabeza, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki


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Species living in metapopulations depend on connected habitat networks for their survival. If habitat networks experience fast temporal dynamics, species conservation requires preventing habitat discontinuities that could lead to metapopulation extinctions. However, few institutional solutions exist for the maintenance of spatiotemporally dynamic habitat networks outside of protected areas. To explore this often neglected problem, we studied the institutional fit of false heath fritillary (Melitaea diamina) conservation in Finland from the perspective of conservation institutions’ ability to manage early successional habitat availability for this endangered species. We identified four institutional arrangements that enable effective conservation management of dynamic habitat networks: (1) acknowledgment of habitat dynamics, (2) monitoring of and responding to changes in the habitat network, (3) management of resources for fluctuating resource needs, and (4) scaling of activities through flexible collaborations. These arrangements provide the institutional flexibility needed for responding to temporal changes in habitat availability.

Key words

conservation; dynamic habitat networks; false heath fritillary; functional fit; habitat overgrowth; institutional fit; Melitaea diamina; metapopulation dynamics; spatial fit; temporal fit

Copyright © 2017 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087