By: Jamia Angle
The total amount of species living in a given area
" 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."
"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. "
"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. "
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.
"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."
Why should we care?!?
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.