Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Buffer zone delimitation of conservation units based on map algebra and AHP technique: a study from Atlantic forest biome (Brazil).

Abstract

A buffer zone can be defined as the surroundings of a protected area, restricting human activities, such as irregular urban growth, hunting, logging, and unsustainable agriculture. The general objective of this research was to propose a methodology for the delimitation of a buffer zone surrounding a conservation unit within the Atlantic Forest Biome, integrating physical, biotic and socioeconomic aspects with the use of map algebra and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) technique. The study area, Rio Canoas State Park, is a unit of integral protection type conservation containing araucaria forest, which is of great environmental relevance as it is situated in the Atlantic Forest Biome containing several species of wild fauna and flora. Firstly, natural vulnerability to erosion of the surroundings of the park associated with basic territorial units with the aid of map algebra and AHP technique was elaborated. Secondly, insertion of special areas such as permanent preservation areas and areas consolidated by the Ministry of the Environment in the buffer zone was done. Finally, the buffer zone of the park delimited from the results acquired in the previous two stages was established. It was verified that the calculation of natural vulnerability to erosion and the parameters of special areas were effective and adequate for the delimitation of the buffer zone with a total area of approximately 37,888 ha. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of buffer zone delimitation using remote sensing and GIS techniques based on environmental conditions, including the invasion of exotic species, of the surrounding areas of the conservation units.