Mallarach J.M. & Marull J. 2006. “Impact assessment of ecological connectivity at the regional level: recent developments in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area”. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal.


There is a lack of methods for the strategic assessment of ecological connectivity, specially for fast growing metropolitan areas. This paper presents a new geographic information systems (GIS) methodology with this aim. It allows the diagnosis of the connectivity of terrestrial landscape ecosystems, on the basis of ecological functional areas and a cost-distance model that includes two compound indices: one for the barrier effect, and another for ecological connectivity, with three variations for the latter, designed for different applications. We applied this model to the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (Spain) assessing the identification of the direct and cumulative impacts on ecological connectivity within this area, resulting from the current artificial barriers, the planned urban growth, and a high-speed train project.