Habitat fragmentation and its impact on population dynamics of species as well as community turnover has generated huge interest in the literature.
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 (as distance to the nearest edge) 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).
We have started the BIOFRAG project to develop a consistent method that can quanitfy the impact of habitat fragmentation on abundance of species and species turnover. We focus on edge effects and patch – matrix contrast and quanitfy two metrics: fragmentation impact and edge sensitivity.
The method is described in detail in Pfeifer et al. 2017 Nature: doi:10.1038/nature24457