Habitat fragmentation and biodiversity conservation: key findings and future challenges

Wilson, Maxwell C., Chen, Xiao-Yong, Corlett, Richard, Didham, Raphael K., Ding, Ping, Holt, Robert D., Holyoak, Marcel, Hu, Guang, Hughes, Alice C., Jiang, Lin, Laurance, William F., Liu, Jiajia, Pimm, Stuart L., Robinson, Scott K., Russo, Sabrina E. , Si, Xingfeng, Wilcove, David S., Wu, Jianguo, and Yu, Mingjian (2016) Habitat fragmentation and biodiversity conservation: key findings and future challenges. Landscape Ecology, 31 (2). pp. 219-227.

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Habitat loss and fragmentation has long been considered the primary cause for biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation worldwide, and is a key research topic in landscape ecology (Wu 2013). Habitat fragmentation often refers to the reduction of continuous tracts of habitat to smaller, spatially distinct remnant patches, and habitat loss typically occurs concurrently with habitat fragmentation (Collinge 2009). Although some habitats are naturally patchy in terms of abiotic and biotic conditions (Wu and Loucks 1995), human actions have profoundly fragmented landscapes across the word (Haddad et al. 2015), altering the quality and connectivity of habitats. Therefore, understanding the causes and consequences of habitat fragmentation is critical to preserving biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

From May 4th to 10th, 2015, an International Workshop on Habitat Fragmentation and Biodiversity Conservation, held at the Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang, China, discussed threats to biodiversity in fragmented landscapes and how fragmentation research can identify and help mitigate these threats. To meet these challenges, the Workshop had three goals. The first was to synthesize key findings in fragmentation science. Second was to identify important remaining research questions concerning the relationships between habitat fragmentation, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning at local, regional, and global scales. Finally, we examined the unique roles of field-based fragmentation experiments in addressing these questions. The Workshop’s findings are relevant to the broader ecological community, and we present them here to stimulate research that will advance landscape ecology and conservation biology.

Item ID: 42324
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9761
Keywords: biodiversity, community dynamics, edge effects, habitat fragmentation, islands, Thousand Islands Lake
Additional Information:

An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10980-015-0322-1.

Funders: Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology, Ecological Society of Zhejiang Province, Botanical Society of Zhejiang Province, People’s Government of Chun’an County, Thousand Island Lake National Forest Park of Zhejiang, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), US National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: NNSFC 31210103908, NNSFC 31361123001, NNSFC 31200413, NSF DEB-1342754, NSF DEB-1342757
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 23:54
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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