BIOFRAG Index

Habitat fragmentation and its impact on population dynamics of species as well as community turnover has been the subject of tremendous interest in past decades (Ewers et al. 2011. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B).

Previous analyses of fragmentation – biodiversity relationships have been using a range of different fragmentation metrics (e.g. generated by FRAGSTAT) on different spatial scales and with different objectives: i.e. testing for habitat edge effects on dynamics of populations of single species or on species community composition or on abundance within functional groups (Laurance et al. 2007. PLOS One; Ewers & Didham 2008. PNAS), or testing for effects of patch size and/or patch shape on species performance (Watling & Donnelly 2006. Conservation Biology).

BIOFRAG is a landscape scale metric that can be used to compare forested landscapes with regard to the impacts of forest fragmentation on biodiversity (at species and community level).

Generated by the lab of Rob Ewers (Imperial College, UK), the BIOFRAG metric was taken up by the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) and may be a way to assess one of the 20 Aichi Targets (2011-2020) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Publications using the BIOFRAG metric approach:

2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. 2010. Forest Fragmentation: Identifying a biodiversity-relevant indicator. 2010 BIP, Cambridge, UK. [BIP Forest Fragmentation report]

Lafortezza R, Coomes DA, Kapos V, Ewers RM. 2010. Assessing the impacts of fragmentation on plant communities in New Zealand: scaling from survey plots to landscapes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 19, 741-754.

Ewers RM, Marsh CJ, Wearn OR. 2010. Making statistics biologically relevant in fragmented landscapes. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 25, 699-704.

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