Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand DAVID A. NORTON* Conservation Research Group School of Forestry University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand Introduction In a recent issue of Conservation Biology (Vol. 2, No. 4), a special section was devoted to edge effects and fragmented landscapes. These papers and others (e.g., Lovejoy et al. 1986;Wilcove et al. 1986) tp the curye rent view of fragmentation as a spatial phenomenon at the landscape scale. However, it needs to be recognized that fragmentation is not restricted to any particular scale, nor to the spatial domain as opposed to any other domain (e.g., temporal or functional). Fragmentation is simply the disruption of continuity. When defined in this manner, the concept of fragmentation can be applied to any domain in which continuity is important to the functioning of ecosystems. Because ecosystems function across a wide range of scales, fragmentation is not scale-limited.Here we discuss the effect of scale as applied to fragmentation in the spatial domain. In particular, we explore the conservation implications of scale in spatial fragmentation, since fragmentation is a major conservation issue. Scale and Spatial Fragmentation Spatial fragmentationo natural vegetation occurs across f a range
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1990
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