Abstract: Habitat destruction and fragmentation are the root causes of many conservation problems. We conducted a literature survey and canvassed the ecological community to identify experimental studies of terrestrial habitat fragmentation and to determine whether consistent themes were emerging from these studies. Our survey revealed 20 fragmentation experiments worldwide. Most studies focused on effects of fragmentation on species richness or on the abundance(s) of particular species. Other important themes were the effect of fragmentation in interspecific interactions, the role of corridors and landscape connectivity in individual movements and species richness, and the influences of edge effects on ecosystem services. Our comparisons showed a remarkable lack of consistency in results across studies, especially with regard to species richness and abundance relative to fragment size. Experiments with arthropods showed the best fit with theoretical expectations of greater species richness on larger fragments. Highly mobile taxa such as birds and mammals, early‐successional plant species, long‐lived species, and generalist predators did not respond in the “expected” manner. Reasons for these discrepancies included edge effects, competitive release in the habitat fragments, and the spatial scale of the experiments. One of the more consistently supported hypotheses was that movement and species richness are positively affected by corridors and connectivity, respectively. Transient effects dominated many systems; for example, crowding of individuals on fragments commonly was observed after fragmentation, followed by a relaxation toward lower abundance in subsequent years. The three long‐term studies (14 years) revealed strong patterns that would have been missed in short‐term investigations. Our results emphasize the wide range of species‐specific responses to fragmentation, the need for elucidation of behavioral mechanisms affecting these responses, and the potential for changing responses to fragmentation over time.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2000
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera