News and Updates

Nature paper out: Pfeifer et al. 2017 Creation of forest edges has a global impact on forest vertebrates. Nature volume 551, pages 187–191 (09 November 2017). doi:10.1038/nature24457

17th April 2015: Prof James Watling has joined the BIOFRAG community. James measured the abundance of amphibians and reptiles in a natural fragmented landscapes of the Bolivian Amazon, i.e. the forest-savannah landscape of El Refugio. James is particularly interested in understanding how landscape structure and ecologcial traits mediate the herpetofauna response to fragmentation.

8th December 2014: Marion presented the BIOFRAG project at Stirling University (Invited talk: Analysing ecological responses to environmental changes). As a first step in our analyses, we have been looking at new ways to assess attributes of fragmented landscapes, taking into account multiple edge effects, continuously varying forest patch – matrix contrast and species-specific perceptions of the landscape (see Vero’s Talk presented at ATBC Meeting 2014, Cairns). Veronique has run her Matlab code on all landscapes in the database, using the Hansen et al. 2013 (Science) tree cover data as baseline maps.  And guess what: birds, beetles and amphibians respond to fragmentation. Not all of them, but …..

1st December 2014: Martin Jung has been programming the fine details of the BIOFRAG database structure.THANK YOU! We are almost there: meaning, the database will have its metadata searchable online by everyone. Have a look for the announcement of the ‘Database online’ and prepare yourself for some browsing. Happy times.

27th March 2014: Database paper is out with Ecology and Evolution (Open Access: This graph, taken from the paper shows the current status of the BIOFRAG database. Thank you to all collaborators. have a look at the paper, if you want to know more about the aims and background of the project, and about our ideas for these amazing data.

The database is dynamic and inclusive, and contributions from individual and large-scale data-collection efforts are welcome! The paper details, what the data should be looking like. Or ask me for details:;


15th December 2013: New datasets (Ecuador, Philippines, Mexico) from have been added to the BIOFRAG project.

2nd December 2013: Our paper describing objectives, structure and currents status of the BIOFRAG database has been submitted to Ecology and Evolution. This follows communication with editors of Methods in Ecology and Evolution: ‘We had some discussion amongst the editorial team and we felt that although we have published papers in the past that describe databases, this is something that we now don’t consider within the remit of the journal. Pressure on space means that we are in a position where we have to focus on publishing papers that consider methodology in a rather narrower sense. Of course I realise this is frustrating for you and I can only apologise that we have had to evolve our policy in this way.’

April 27th 2013: We are currently compiling as much information as is available about the traits of single species within each fragmented landscape. Starting with the amphibian and reptile data. The aim is to classify species into functional groups. We will check whether this functional grouping can be matched to the response of the species to the forest edge. BIOFRAG is a metric that will predict biodiversity change based on statistical relationships between biodiversity indices (Bray Curtis and Simpson’s) and fragmentation metrics (e.g. response to forest edge, fragment patch compactness and smoothness). We hope to be able to account for functional diversity change.

September 5th: BIOFRAG is now collaborating with the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG). ASG will publish a call for data reaching out to its members, a global network of Amphibian experts. Thank you.

July 20th: Dr Tamara Heartsill and Prof Ariel Lugo joined the BIOFRAG project with their tree data collected at Luquillo long-term ecological research programme (fragmentaiton in the Neotropics – Puerto Rico). Thank you and welcome!

July 6th: back from amazing field work in Northern Kenya and Ethiopia.

Turkana Lake, Northern Kenya

June 14th: I presented the BIOFRAG project to the research lab of Ronald Mulwa (National Museums Kenya, Nairobi; Ornithology section) who works closely with Nature Kenya. Hopefully, collaborations and data exchange with the BIOFRAG project will follow.

June 25th: We received our first snail data (from fragmented forests in Sri Lanka)! We are very grateful to Dinarzarde Raheem to join the BIOFRAG project. If you want to know more about his research, have a look at his website and paper (


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