Habitat Fragmentation & Loss
Siraad Hirsi, Jessica Iacobucci & Bittu Taheem
What is the difference between habitat loss and habitat fragmentation?
Habitat Loss - land use is changed, or habitat is removed.
Habitat Fragmentation - Habitats are divided into smaller, more isolated patches.
Why is it important?
Habitat loss and degradation has the highest impact on species that are considered threatened and is a leading threat to the worlds biodiversity.
2) Resource Extraction
3) Development/ Urbanization
Studying Habitat Fragmentation
First understood through The Theory of Island Biogeorgraphy
Increasing the number of patches or increasing the isolation of each path leads to a decrease in total species richness and an increase in the probability
of extinction of a species.
With an increase in edge habitat, there is a greater chance of exterior competitors and predators entering the habitat as well as a decrease in space and quality habitat for species leading to an increase in extinction.
Effects local populations by restricting immigration and emigration.
What Can Be Done?
1) Introduce Biodiversity Corridors
What is a Corridor? A link between two or more similar habitats, allows migration, colonization and interbreeding of plants and animals.
Study: Damschen E.I. et al. 2006 Corridors Increase Plant Species
Richness at Large Scales.
Plant species richness is 20% higher in connected areas versus unconnected areas.
Conclusion: When used correctly, corridors can be used as a tool to conserve biodiversity.
2) Introduce Green Roofs
Green Roofs have a vegetation surface which provide ecosystem services in urban areas.
-Habitat for wildlife
-Green space amenity
-Air quality Improvement
-Reduce buildings energy consumption
-Increase sound insulation
-Add fire resistance
-Reduce storm water runoff
Study Urban Ecology
Urban Ecology- The study of interactions between organisms and links to human activities and how ecology can be taken into consideration in urban planning
Why is this important?
The majority of society lives in urban areas and ecologists have neglected to study these unique urban ecosystems.