14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 178 The important peripheral Alpine cities such as Mar seille Lyon Torino Milano Geneva Zurich Munich Venice Ljubljana Graz and Vienna have a signi cant impact on ecological fragmentation through their relative dispersal of human settlements their con urbanisation and satellite towns needing transport and energy infrastructure as well as via their large footprints of economic activities industry commer cial areas and more The population density layer in map 15 shows this fact in a very impressive way the Alpine surroundings are like a continuous belt of towns with some more or less important hot spots of settlements see map 15 This impact combined with an intensive land use in the respective valleys as shown on the map red sur faces of land use impact sometimes leads to complete fragmentation of the space creating barriers of highest importance for wildlife migration It is evident that those extra Alpine areas with such im portant urban areas and activities are generating high transport ows of both people and merchandise as well as of energy high tension lines for example The high volume traf c lines providing connectivity for human populations are creating barriers to the ecologi cal connectivity needed for wildlife migration In this respect the Alps seem to be more and more isolated from their surrounding regions Even if Alpine connectivity still seems to be function ing in large parts of the Alps this connectivity in creasingly resembles a tenuous thread loosely linking a series of habitats as connections to the surrounding European landscapes and mainly neighbouring mas sifs like the Jura the Central Massif the Apennines and the Carpathians are more and more disrupted In any case Alpine biodiversity will not survive in the long term if it is completely isolated from the outside inaccessible for any kind of gene exchange The grow ing disconnection in very large parts of the Alpine surroundings needs to be addressed through adapted measures Especially the west Rhone valley France the south Po plain Italy and the east axis Trieste Ljubljana Maribor face major barriers The northern part of the Alps seems more open to connectivity with its surroundings Map 14 Land use and ecological connectivity Land use impactBarriers for connectivity Motorway traf c High barrier Low barrier Built up area Line width traf c volume 0 10 10 30 30 70 70 90 90 100 Major city Major river Water bodies Alpine Convention perimeter National border

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