We explored the usefulness of three satellite land cover data sets available to land managers in south-central Sweden for conservation planning using four deciduous forest focal resident bird species with different habitat requirements. Habitat suitability models using empirical species-specific habitat parameters and a Geographic Information System were applied to evaluate and compare the degree of consistency among three different land cover data sets. The study area encompassed 10,000 km2 in a landscape mosaic of managed boreal forests and is within the distribution range of all four focal species. Although the three land cover data sets indicated similar total amounts of deciduous forest, the habitat suitability models showed that different land cover data yielded inconsistent results regarding the amount and distribution of suitable habitat within 5Ã—5 km grid cells. Given this sensitivity to the choice of land cover data sets, the habitat suitability models showed positive relationships among the selected focal species for each land cover data set separately. As expected, decreasing amounts of suitable habitat were identified for species with higher specialisation. Thus, because habitat suitability models are an appropriate way to gain insight into the functionality and connectivity of habitat networks, land cover data must be carefully evaluated and if necessary combined with other landscape information for effective conservation planning.
Manton, M., Angelstam, P., & Mikusinski, G. (2005). Modelling habitat suitability for deciduous forest focal species: a sensitivity analysis using different satellite land cover data. Landscape Ecology, 20(7), 827-839. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-005-3703-z