Diverse and contrasting effects of habitat fragmentation

George R. Robinson, Robert D. Holt, Michael S. Gaines, Steven P. Hamburg, Michael L. Johnson, Henry S. Fitch, Edward A. Martinko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

266 Scopus citations

Abstract

Different components of an ecosystem can respond in very different ways to habitat fragmentation. An archipelago of patches, representing different levels of fragmentation, was arrayed within a successional field and studied over a period of 6 years. Ecosystem processes (soil mineralization and plant succession) did not vary with the degree of subdivision, nor did most measures of plant and animal community diversity. However, fragmentation affected vertebrate population dynamics and distributional patterns as well as the population persistence of clonal plant species. The results highlight the dangers of relying on broad community measures in lieu of detailed population analyses in studies of fragmented habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-526
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume257
Issue number5069
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Robinson, G. R., Holt, R. D., Gaines, M. S., Hamburg, S. P., Johnson, M. L., Fitch, H. S., & Martinko, E. A. (1992). Diverse and contrasting effects of habitat fragmentation. Science, 257(5069), 524-526. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.257.5069.524