Response of single species to habitat loss and fragmentation is complex

Our BIOFRAG metric is a biodiversity-related indicator that measures the impact of forest fragmentation on biodiversity. Thereby, BIOFRAG represents the similarity of fragmented biological communities to those in continuous forests.

But what is the effect of fragmentation on single species? The response of individual species to habitat loss and fragmentation can be quite complex, making it difficult to quantify fragmentation impacts across species and across fragmented landscapes from different parts of the world. However, the response of each species can be converted into a single metric using spatial analyses to extrapolate a statistical model (for example: abundance change in response to forest edge and patch area) across the study area. As presented by Ewers et al. (2010, TREE), impact values can be presented as the population size within the study area as a proportion of the pre-fragmentation population size. BIOFRAG will generate both, single species response and species community response metrics.

Thor Hanson is collaborating with BIOFRAG, contributing his data on abundance changes of Dipteryx panamensis in a fragmented Costa Rican landscape (published in Molecular Ecology).

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