Loss of area and fragmentation are the two main endangering factors of natural habitats and landscapes. Conservation efforts often attempt to maintain (semi)natural landcsapes as a whole with the biggest possible unfragmented area. This approach seems to be succesful on landscape level, but is it suitable for the conservation of particular habitats? Assessing the relationships between the overall naturalness of the landscape and the nature conservation status of a particular habitat is required to answer this question.
We worked with the database of the Landscape Ecological Habitat Mapping Program of Hungary (MÉTA) for this study. We choose the forest steppe meadows (H4) as a modell habitat. Nature conservation status of the habitat was defined by the area of the habitat and its naturalness based conservation value, while the naturalness of the landscape was defined by the overall area of (semi)natural habitats. We used Spearman’s rank correlation to explore the relationships in two spatial scales.
We found that there was a significantly positive relationship (p