Habitat Fragmentation

By: Jamia Angle

Biodiversity

The total amount of species living in a given area

Habitat Fragmentation

Organisms become separated into smaller communties due to human activites

History

Habitat Fragmentation was first based off a geologic time scale, catastrophic events and natural process due to changes in the earth. For example tornados and hurricanes caused habitat fragmentation which made a separation in animal communities. Natural process also causes habitat fragmentation tectonic movement, volcanic activity, land slumping. The Grand Canyon is a major natural process that has caused habitat fragmentation and has caused isolation of communities.

Human Impact

It can caused a lot of harm only if it is ranging from something small to on a huge scale. The separation distance of communities affects a lot of animals but it does depend on the reproduction rate of the species it is affecting. Some of the factors made include when animals are mating, migration, or any other factors that may help the species survive. Some examples may be the Great Wall of China which is on a huge scale because it stretches 13,170 miles which separates and causes animal communities to break up. This results in habitat fragmentation leading to geographic isolation. Another example may also be the Hoover Dam which separates the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

News Articles

Article 1

" Ecologists have examined the influences of habitat fragment size, shape, degree of isolation, context, and habitat quality or heterogeneity on plant and animal population persistence, community composition, and ecosystem processes."


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204696003416


Article 2

"Thousands of scientific studies now show unequivocal evidence for the impacts of patch area, edge effects, patch shape complexity, isolation and landscape matrix contrast on community structure and ecosystem functioning. However, striking disparities in the results of these studies have raised considerable debate about the relative importance of different mechanisms underlying fragmentation effects, and even about the utility of the ‘fragmentation’ concept in general. "


http://www.els.net/WileyCDA/ElsArticle/refId-a0021904.html

Global Issues/Concern

Current issues of habitat fragmentation reduces gene flow between animal population, this causes for a decrease in genetic diversity with animals. By animals being broken up by habitat fragmentation it results in them being isolated, making it harder for animals to find mates. Therefore they have to adapt to their new environment.


Article 1

"Initial predictions have been that such changes will be accompanied by an erosion of genetic variation and increased inter-population genetic divergence due to increased random genetic drift, elevated inbreeding and reduced gene flow. "


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0169534796100458


Future issues of habitat fragmentation may cause extinction of animals due to them animals being separated for so long and they are not able to adapt and reproduce.


Article 2

"These findings indicate an urgent need for conservation and restoration measures to improve landscape connectivity, which will reduce extinction rates and help maintain ecosystem services."


http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/2/e1500052

Why should we care?!?

Humans should care about habitat fragmentation because not only is it driving the animals extinct but it is causing them to be in our way. For example when we cut down trees deers and other animals tend to come out in the road which results in humans killing them. Humans should want to mitigate it because it is a growing problem and it results in humans killing innocent animals.

Solutions

Habitat Corridors has been the most common solution for habitat fragmentation. It allows for safe passage of animals between natural therefore they are not affected by humans in any sort of way.


Traffic Calming has also been a solution but many people tend to not follow it. It allows for people to adapt to existing road layouts in urban area, their goal is to reduce the speed of vehicles traveling through these areas where they are likely to come in contact with animals, hoping that drivers will follow the speed to save an animal's life.