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UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR ENERGY FACILITIES, FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT CONNECTIVITY, AND DISPERSAL CORRIDORS

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Date Issued:
2020
Abstract/Description:
The objective of this research was to study the impacts of large USSE facilities on wildlife movement corridors and habitat connectivity in Florida to identify important habitat patches and movement corridors significant for potential Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) dispersal, conservation, and recovery. Large carnivores (such as Florida panther) have often been examined as conservation umbrellas for large-scale connectivity planning due to their extensive spatial requirements (Beier et al., 2006, Thorne et al., 2006). In addition, Florida panther is relatively well-studied species that have been listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act for over 40 years, due to habitat fragmentation and reduction. Habitat suitability was compared before and after the installation of the USSE facilities using RandomForest model developed by Frakes and Knight (in prep). The connectivity study focused on comparing current density and effective resistance (resistance distance) before and after the installations of USSE facilities and was conducted using Circuitscape 4.0. The impacts on habitat connectivity were the most substantial in the areas where the USSE facilities were installed on or around wildlife corridors, near focal areas, and in large clusters. The study has identified important linkages and new pathways that animals may try to take in order to bypass the facilities. The study has also shown that installation of USSE facilities in areas not suitable as habitat for Florida panthers, but still permeable or semi-permeable (e.g., agricultural lands), can substantially impact connectivity between focal areas.
Title: UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR ENERGY FACILITIES, FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT CONNECTIVITY, AND DISPERSAL CORRIDORS.
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Name(s): Leskova, Olena V., author
Markwith, Scott , Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Geosciences
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2020
Date Issued: 2020
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 197 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The objective of this research was to study the impacts of large USSE facilities on wildlife movement corridors and habitat connectivity in Florida to identify important habitat patches and movement corridors significant for potential Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) dispersal, conservation, and recovery. Large carnivores (such as Florida panther) have often been examined as conservation umbrellas for large-scale connectivity planning due to their extensive spatial requirements (Beier et al., 2006, Thorne et al., 2006). In addition, Florida panther is relatively well-studied species that have been listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act for over 40 years, due to habitat fragmentation and reduction. Habitat suitability was compared before and after the installation of the USSE facilities using RandomForest model developed by Frakes and Knight (in prep). The connectivity study focused on comparing current density and effective resistance (resistance distance) before and after the installations of USSE facilities and was conducted using Circuitscape 4.0. The impacts on habitat connectivity were the most substantial in the areas where the USSE facilities were installed on or around wildlife corridors, near focal areas, and in large clusters. The study has identified important linkages and new pathways that animals may try to take in order to bypass the facilities. The study has also shown that installation of USSE facilities in areas not suitable as habitat for Florida panthers, but still permeable or semi-permeable (e.g., agricultural lands), can substantially impact connectivity between focal areas.
Identifier: FA00013500 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2020.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Florida panther
Puma concolor coryi
Habitat conservation
Solar energy--Environmental aspects
Solar energy--Florida
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013500
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.