For several years experiments conducted in landscape ecology have enabled the team to develop methodological skills in the use of landscape metrics. This work, which has focused more especially on the ideas of connectivity and landscape distance, is behind a recent methodological positioning on the characterisation of functional connectivity by landscape graphs. These methods can be used to model functional aspects and may give rise to transfer towards the professional environment concerned by the question of networks (ecological corridors). They are applied to address certain phenomena of biological diffusion and to study the ecological impacts of the conversion of natural landscapes.
Ecological consequences of the conversion of natural landscapes
In the context of the densification of transport networks and of urban sprawl, an important question is the evaluation of negative externalities caused by the conversion of natural landscapes on the habitat of certain animal species, in particular on their functional connectivity. A first line of research concerns the impact of major transport infrastructures on the connectivity of wildlife habitats (Graphab 1 and Graphab 2). A second line of enquiry, in conjunction with the Mobility, Cities and Transport team, aims to compare the modification of ecological networks as a function of the different forms of urban sprawl.
Landscape networks and biological diffusion phenomena
In the fight against biological diffusion phenomena (e.g. animal population explosions, parasite transmission) landscape analysis can provide an interesting contribution when the vectors of diffusion depend on certain landscape elements. The identification of propagation networks is an important issue. The purpose is to apply landscape graph methods to the modelling of connectivity and to improve knowledge of the ways in which these phenomena spread. One of the main outcomes expected is the precise identification of diffusion channels and spatial configuration brought about by barrier effects. This knowledge will guide decision makers in introducing landscape developments that might limit the phenomena of biological diffusion in question. The works is conducted in conjunction with UMR 6249 Chrono-Environnement as part of the Campagraphe programme.