عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
In different ages, human has deliberately and unintentionally destroyed the nature and caused species extinctions. This degradation has created many concerns because it has been more severe and faster than any previous natural devastation. Therefore, despite data shortage and nature’s complexities, it is necessary to move towards better and more appropriate nature conservation approaches and diminish human-caused disasters or at least reduce them to the minimum level. There are different approaches to selection of lands for conservation. Landscape ecology approach is one of the newest approaches that uses metric indices such as shape, size, structure and linkages between different covers or patches that are important for meeting conservation objectives. The main objective of this study was to apply landscape metrics approach for systematic selection of conservation patches in Golestan Province of Iran. Accordingly, the technique of Conservation Assessment Prioritization Systems (CAPS) was used. It is based on landscape metrics and is integrated with other ecologically important factors such as river health. After classification of the land into forest, rangeland, river, city and village on the satellite image, the landscape metrics were derived using FRAGSTATS software. Subsequently, a multi-criteria evaluation with weighted linear combination procedure was used for combining different layers of the metrics and determining suitability of land for conservation. An Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used by some experts to assign weights to the factors included in the weighted linear combination method. The result of this research produced a land suitability map for the whole province for conservation purposes. We applied the zonal land suitability method and a result 19 zones were introduced for conservation. A descriptive model was also provided that helped in merging the landscape metrics for conservation. The method used for the first time in Iran proved successful. However, we suggest applying it to other areas so as to highlight its strengths and data shortages. The result of this study shows that conservation area of Golestan province is 15 percent (307391.6 ha) without consideration of water resources and with attention to pixel with suitability more than 160. In addition, it provides lowest cost and faster survey in a wide area and is getting popularity for selection of conservation patches.