Landscape Connectivity and Ecological Effects

Authored by: Marinés de la Peña-Domene , Emily S. Minor

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ENRL-120047451

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Abstract

Landscape connectivity is the degree to which the landscape facilitates or impedes movement among resource patches. This movement is crucial for a number of different ecological processes including migration, dispersal, and colonization of locally extinct habitat patches. Hence, landscape connectivity has been of great interest to ecologists for at least two decades. Landscape connectivity is studied at the level of individual habitat patches as well as at the much larger landscape scale; it is modeled and empirically observed. Many different metrics have been developed to study the effect of landscape connectivity on a variety of organisms. Here, we give a brief overview of the different ways landscape connectivity has been defined and measured and highlight some important findings about the impact of connectivity on ecological and evolutionary processes, conservation, and natural resource management.

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