Exploring Ecological and Social Forms of Connectivity in Kespukwitk, Nova Scotia
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Connectivity is an essential component of conservation efforts. Ambiguity surrounding the term makes distinguishing between multiple forms difficult, posing challenges to implementation. This research aims to address two key gap—the limited social science research focusing on connectivity; and the ambiguity associated with applying both ecological and social conceptualizations of connectivity—through an explorative, mixed-methods approach incorporating qualitative and spatial methodologies, in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. The findings indicate that a plurality of forms of connectivity are considered both conceptually and spatially, including ecological and social forms, such as ecological-functional, spatial-structural, emotional-affective, social (economic), social (equity), and social (more-than-human) connectivity, consistent with Hodgetts’ taxonomy (2018). Considering such forms of connectivity and their inter-relationships between types can support connectivity conservation planning that considers ecological, social, economic, and cultural realms. Distinguishing between “plural” types of connectivity was found to illuminate the relationships between types, and thus served to illuminate approaches to viewing connectivity as an indivisible whole, and thus “a multiple”.