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State of the art methods in landscape ecology, impact assessment and environmental planning were applied to evaluate the regional effects of citrus development on the ecological integrity of southwest Florida. The 600,000 ha study area borders the environmentally sensitive Everglades and Big Cypress areas and is prime habitat for the endangered Florida panther. Citrus development alters existing landscape conditions, and there is concern that the scale of the proposed citrus development could effect regional ecological resources. Evaluation of the effects of citrus development focused on listed species, vulnerable habitats and regional biological diversity. The foundation for the conservation of regional ecological integrity will be a mosaic of different intensity land uses.


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