Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 323–333

The use of habitat mosaics by terrestrial vertebrate fauna: implications for conservation and management

  • B. S. LAW

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008877611726

Cite this article as:
LAW, B.S. & DICKMAN, C.R. Biodiversity and Conservation (1998) 7: 323. doi:10.1023/A:1008877611726


Many species of vertebrates require multiple habitats to obtain different resources at different stages of their life-cycles. Use of habitat mosaics takes place on a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from a daily requirement for adjacent habitats to seasonal use of geographically separated environments. Mosaics of habitats are also required in some species to allow ontogenetic habitat shifts, while in others each sex may have specific requirements that are met by different habitats. The extent and nature of animal movements are key (but generally poorly known) factors affecting the vulnerability of species to landscape change. The requirement by many species for multiple habitats suggests that their conservation will be most effective in a mosaic environment and that protection of certain high profile habitats alone, such as rainforest, will be insufficient to achieve conservation goals. Management regimes that result in homogenization of habitats should be avoided. Priority should be given to research that identifies the extent to which species can locate habitat mosaics, at different spatial scales and arrangements, in modified environments.

habitat mosaics heterogeneity fragmentation landscape ecology modified habitats movement patterns 

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1998

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  • B. S. LAW

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