Landscape Vulnerability assessment due to road networks in Central Zagros Mountains in West of Iran

Authors and Affiliations: 

1-Hossein Madadi ,
Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran &
Department of Environmental Science, Behbahan Khatam Alanbia University of Technology, Behbahan 63616- 47189 Iran

2-Hossein Moradi , 3-Ali Reza Soffianian
Department of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran

4-Abdolrassoul Salman Mahini
Department of the Environment, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

5-Davide Geneletti
Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, via Mesiano, 77, 38123, Trento, Italy

Corresponding author: 
Hossein Moradi

Vulnerability is described as the state of susceptibility to harm from exposure to stresses
associated with environmental and social change and from the absence of capacity to adapt. Usually roads have major changes on the natural habitats and harm them differently along the road networks. Therefore, vulnerability depends on the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptation capability to changing driver.
This research focused on the ecological vulnerability due to road networks in an area of 2.829.238 ha within Central Zagros mountains in West of Iran. This assessment is based on the “Exposure-Sensitivity-Adaptation capacity” framework according to the theory of ecological vulnerability. In this framework, exposure index was measured based on fractal dimension, residential neighborhood dimension, road disturbance, and road noise as external dimensions. About internal dimensions of vulnerability, topographic position index and Infrastructural Fragmentation Index were taken for measuring sensitivity. Adaptation capacity is measured based on the landscape connectivity index and dominance index.
The vulnerability states were classified in five classes. The results showed that less than 7% of the study area is under high and very high vulnerability and about 53% of the area under low and very low vulnerability, and the rest under moderate vulnerability classes were classified. Moreover, the results indicated that about 35% of the woodlands/shrublands habitat and about 18% of the Oak forest are most vulnerable habitats.


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