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CURATOR
A pinboard by
Sybil Wong, PhD

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PINBOARD SUMMARY

What are the relative effects of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on biodiversity? (16)

What are the relative effects of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on biodiversity? (16)

During the process of deforestation, the natural habitat is both reduced and fragmented (i.e. what used to be a continuous habitat is transformed into several small habitat patches). Although there is plenty of evidence in the literature regarding the strong effects that both habitat loss and fragmentation have on biodiversity, some suggest that species extinction is entirely due to habitat loss, and that fragmentation has minor and often positive effects on biodiversity.

Dr Cris Bank-Leite

5 ITEMS PINNED

Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages.

Abstract: Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation.

Pub.: 19 Jul '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17

Consequences of a large-scale fragmentation experiment for Neotropical bats: disentangling the relative importance of local and landscape-scale effects

Abstract: Context Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are widespread drivers of biodiversity decline. Understanding how habitat quality interacts with landscape context, and how they jointly affect species in human-modified landscapes, is of great importance for informing conservation and management. Objectives We used a whole-ecosystem manipulation experiment in the Brazilian Amazon to investigate the relative roles of local and landscape attributes in affecting bat assemblages at an interior-edge-matrix disturbance gradient. Methods We surveyed bats in 39 sites, comprising continuous forest (CF), fragments, forest edges and intervening secondary regrowth. For each site, we assessed vegetation structure (local-scale variable) and, for five focal scales, quantified habitat amount and four landscape configuration metrics. Results Smaller fragments, edges and regrowth sites had fewer species and higher levels of dominance than CF. Regardless of the landscape scale analysed, species richness and evenness were mostly related to the amount of forest cover. Vegetation structure and configurational metrics were important predictors of abundance, whereby the magnitude and direction of response to configurational metrics were scale-dependent. Responses were ensemble-specific with local-scale vegetation structure being more important for frugivorous than for gleaning animalivorous bats. Conclusions Our study indicates that scale-sensitive measures of landscape structure are needed for a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of fragmentation on tropical biota. Although forest fragments and regrowth habitats can be of conservation significance for tropical bats our results further emphasize that primary forest is of irreplaceable value, underlining that their conservation can only be achieved by the preservation of large expanses of pristine habitat. Context Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are widespread drivers of biodiversity decline. Understanding how habitat quality interacts with landscape context, and how they jointly affect species in human-modified landscapes, is of great importance for informing conservation and management. ContextHabitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are widespread drivers of biodiversity decline. Understanding how habitat quality interacts with landscape context, and how they jointly affect species in human-modified landscapes, is of great importance for informing conservation and management. Objectives We used a whole-ecosystem manipulation experiment in the Brazilian Amazon to investigate the relative roles of local and landscape attributes in affecting bat assemblages at an interior-edge-matrix disturbance gradient. ObjectivesWe used a whole-ecosystem manipulation experiment in the Brazilian Amazon to investigate the relative roles of local and landscape attributes in affecting bat assemblages at an interior-edge-matrix disturbance gradient. Methods We surveyed bats in 39 sites, comprising continuous forest (CF), fragments, forest edges and intervening secondary regrowth. For each site, we assessed vegetation structure (local-scale variable) and, for five focal scales, quantified habitat amount and four landscape configuration metrics. MethodsWe surveyed bats in 39 sites, comprising continuous forest (CF), fragments, forest edges and intervening secondary regrowth. For each site, we assessed vegetation structure (local-scale variable) and, for five focal scales, quantified habitat amount and four landscape configuration metrics. Results Smaller fragments, edges and regrowth sites had fewer species and higher levels of dominance than CF. Regardless of the landscape scale analysed, species richness and evenness were mostly related to the amount of forest cover. Vegetation structure and configurational metrics were important predictors of abundance, whereby the magnitude and direction of response to configurational metrics were scale-dependent. Responses were ensemble-specific with local-scale vegetation structure being more important for frugivorous than for gleaning animalivorous bats. ResultsSmaller fragments, edges and regrowth sites had fewer species and higher levels of dominance than CF. Regardless of the landscape scale analysed, species richness and evenness were mostly related to the amount of forest cover. Vegetation structure and configurational metrics were important predictors of abundance, whereby the magnitude and direction of response to configurational metrics were scale-dependent. Responses were ensemble-specific with local-scale vegetation structure being more important for frugivorous than for gleaning animalivorous bats. Conclusions Our study indicates that scale-sensitive measures of landscape structure are needed for a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of fragmentation on tropical biota. Although forest fragments and regrowth habitats can be of conservation significance for tropical bats our results further emphasize that primary forest is of irreplaceable value, underlining that their conservation can only be achieved by the preservation of large expanses of pristine habitat. ConclusionsOur study indicates that scale-sensitive measures of landscape structure are needed for a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of fragmentation on tropical biota. Although forest fragments and regrowth habitats can be of conservation significance for tropical bats our results further emphasize that primary forest is of irreplaceable value, underlining that their conservation can only be achieved by the preservation of large expanses of pristine habitat.

Pub.: 01 Jan '17, Pinned: 25 Jan '17