Edge Effects and Conservation of Biotic Diversity

Edge Effects and Conservation of Biotic Diversity Department of Wildlife and Range Sciences University of Florida Gainesville, FL 3261 1 , U.S.A. For three-quarters of a century the edge or zone of transition between different ecological associations has intrigued ecologists. The high diversity of plants and animals associated with edges and ecotones quickly became known as the edge effect principle, which is widely referred to as a fundamental concept of ecology (e.g., Wiens 1976). For the 55 years since enunciation as a game management principle, wildlife biologists have considered that “the potential density of game of low radius requiring two or more types is, within ordinary limits, proportional to the sum of the type peripheries” (Leopold 1933:132). Standard habitat management guides include the prescription to “create as much ‘edge’ as possible because wildlife is a product of the places where two habitats meet” (Yoakum & Dasmann 1971). But increasing emphasis on plant and nongame wildlife conservation during the last two decades has revealed many characteristics of edges and ecotones that are now considered undesirable. The term “ecotone” derives from the Greek root tonus, referring t o tension. As originally coined, “ecotone” referred to the zone of tension between ecological communities. As it turns out, the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Edge Effects and Conservation of Biotic Diversity

Conservation Biology, Volume 2 (4) – Dec 1, 1988

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
"Copyright © 1988 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company"
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.1988.tb00196.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Department of Wildlife and Range Sciences University of Florida Gainesville, FL 3261 1 , U.S.A. For three-quarters of a century the edge or zone of transition between different ecological associations has intrigued ecologists. The high diversity of plants and animals associated with edges and ecotones quickly became known as the edge effect principle, which is widely referred to as a fundamental concept of ecology (e.g., Wiens 1976). For the 55 years since enunciation as a game management principle, wildlife biologists have considered that “the potential density of game of low radius requiring two or more types is, within ordinary limits, proportional to the sum of the type peripheries” (Leopold 1933:132). Standard habitat management guides include the prescription to “create as much ‘edge’ as possible because wildlife is a product of the places where two habitats meet” (Yoakum & Dasmann 1971). But increasing emphasis on plant and nongame wildlife conservation during the last two decades has revealed many characteristics of edges and ecotones that are now considered undesirable. The term “ecotone” derives from the Greek root tonus, referring t o tension. As originally coined, “ecotone” referred to the zone of tension between ecological communities. As it turns out, the

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1988

References

  • The interspersion index as a technique for evaluation of bobwhite quail habitat
    Baxter, W.; Wolfe, C.
  • Breeding birds of the forest edge in Illinois
    Johnston, V.

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