Successful biological conservation efforts require ecologists and evolutionary biologists to simultaneously understand patterns and processes of landscape change, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as detailed responses of individual populations and species to these broad-scale modifications. Combining these seemingly distant approaches offers the best hope for designing comprehensive conservation strategies that will maintain ecological and evolutionary processes in perpetuity. Research efforts in landscape ecology (e.g. Hobbs, 1994; Forman, 1995; Hansson et al., 1995 ) and population and community ecology ( Levin and Paine, 1974; Wiens, 1976; Hanski and Gilpin, 1997 ) have recently converged into an explicit emphasis on “spatial ecology” (e.g. Tilman and Kareiva, 1997 ). Spatial ecology centers on how landscape spatial configuration influences population and community dynamics of organisms. Given increased recognition by ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and conservation biologists that “space is important”, how can and should we practically integrate spatial information with biological conservation efforts? Habitat loss and fragmentation constitute the most serious threats to earth’s biological diversity, and understanding their consequences for persistence of native populations and communities remains a daunting challenge for conservation biologists. The current theoretical focus on landscape spatial configuration in ecology and conservation provides fertile conceptual background
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2001
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