Forest Fragmentation and the Conservation of Biological Diversity

  • Larry D. Harris
  • Gilberto Silva-Lopez


Definitions and clarifications of terms and concepts relevant to the effects of habitat fragmentation on biological diversity are presented. Habitat fragmentation differs from habitat patchiness, and it is illustrated how forest fragmentation is distinguished from a series of forest fragments and a single tract of insular forest. Five types of fragmentation are illustrated, and land use in and around the Ocala National Forest illustrates how these are relevant to management decisions. The full impacts of fragmentation cannot be appreciated unless the concept of wildlife is distinguished from that of native fauna because faunal relaxation and faunal collapse are measurable only against the backdrop of native biota. Faunal collapse occurs when sufficient levels of disturbance cause fundamentally different intensities of ecological processes to prevail. Habitat fragmentation effects cannot be gauged independent of the scale of evaluation, and again, the case of the Ocala National Forest is used to illustrate the issues.


Habitat Fragmentation Forest Fragment Forest Fragmentation Black Bear Fragmented Forest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Alverson, W., Waller, D., Solheim, S. 1988. Forests too deer: Edge effects in northern Wisconsin. Cons. Biol. 2: 348–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, S., Robbins, C. 1981. Habitat size and bird community management. Trans. N. Am. Wild. Nat. Res. Conf. 46: 511–20.Google Scholar
  3. Andren, H., Angelstam, P. 1988. Elevated predation rates as an edge effect in habitat islands: Experimental evidence. Ecology 69: 544–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andren, H., Angelstam, P., Lindstrom, E., Widen, P. 1985. Differences in predation pressure in relation to habitat fragmentation: An experiment. Oikos 45: 273–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baur, G. 1897. New observations on the origin of the Galapagos Islands with remarks on the geological age of the Pacific Ocean. Am. Nat. 31: 661–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bierregaard, R., Jr. 1989. Avian communities in the understory of Amazonian forest fragments. In Biogeography and ecology of forest bird communities, ed. A. Keast, 1–11. The Hague: SPB Academic.Google Scholar
  7. Brittingham, M., Temple, S. 1983. Have cowbirds caused forest songbirds to decline? Bioscience 33: 31–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Browne, J. 1983. The secular ark, studies in the history of biogeography. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brussard, P., Gilpin, M. 1989. Demographic and genetic problems of small populations. In Conservation biology and the black-footed ferret, ed. U. Seal, E. Thorne, M. Bogan, and S. Anderson, 37–48. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bull, J. 1980. Sex determination in reptiles. Q. Rev. Biol. 55: 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Conry, P. 1988. High nest predation by brown tree snakes on Guam. Condor 90: 478–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Darlington, P. 1957. Zoogeography: The geographical distribution of animals. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  13. Dennis, J. 1971. Utilization of pine resin by the red-cockaded woodpecker and its effectiveness in protecting roosting and nest sites. In The ecology and management of the red-cockaded woodpecker, ed. R. Thompson, 78–85. Atlanta: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
  14. Diamond, J. 1972. Biogeographic kinetics: Estimation of relaxation times for avifaunas of southwest Pacific islands. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 69: 3199–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diamond, J. 1973. Distributional ecology of New Guinea birds. Science 179: 759 - 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Diamond, J. 1975. Assembly of species communities. In Ecology and evolution of communities, ed. M. Cody and J. Diamond, 342–44. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dice, L. 1943. The biotic provinces of North America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gates, J., Gysel, L. 1978. Avian nest dispersion and fledging success in field- forest ecotones. L. 59: 871–83.Google Scholar
  19. Hamel, P., LeGrand, H. Jr., Lennartz, M., Gauthreaux, S. Jr. 1982. Bird- habitat relationships on southeastern forest lands. General Tech. Report SE- 22. Asheville, N.C.: U.S.D.A. Forest Service.Google Scholar
  20. Harlow, R., Lennartz, M. 1983. Interspecific competition for red-cockaded woodpecker cavities during the nesting season in South Carolina. In Proceedings of red-cockaded woodpecker symposium II, ed. D. Wood, 41 - 43. Tallahassee: Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission.Google Scholar
  21. Harris, L. 1984. The fragmented forest: Island biogeography theory and the preservation of biotic diversity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Harris, L. 1988a. The faunal significance of fragmentation of southeastern bottomland forest. In Proceedings of the symposium: Forested wetlands of the southern United States, ed. D. Hook and R. Lea, 126–34. General Tech. Report SE-50. Asheville, N.C.: U.S.D.A. Forest Service.Google Scholar
  23. Harris, L. 1988b. The nature of cumulative impacts on biotic diversity of wetland vertebrates. Environ. Manage. 12: 675–93.Google Scholar
  24. Harris, L. 1988c. Edge effects and conservation of biotic diversity. Cons. Biol 2: 2–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harris, L., McElveen, J. 1981. Effect of forest edges on north Florida breeding birds. IMPAC Report 6 (no. 4 ). Gainesville: University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.Google Scholar
  26. Harris, L., Wallace, R. 1984. Breeding bird species in Florida forest fragments. Proc. Ann. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish Wildl. Agencies 38: 87–96.Google Scholar
  27. Harris, L., Frederick, P. 1990. The role of the Endangered Species Act in the conservation of biological diversity: An assessment. In Integrated environmental management, ed. J. Cairns, Jr., and T. Crawford, 99–117. Chelsea, Mich.: Lewis.Google Scholar
  28. Harris, L., Gallagher, P. 1989. New initiatives for wildlife conservation, the need for movement corridors. In In defense of wildlife: Preserving communities and corridors, ed. G. Mackintosh, 11–34. Washington, D.C.: Defenders of Wildlife.Google Scholar
  29. Humphrey, S., Kern, W. Jr., Ludlow, M. 1988. The Anastasia Island cotton mouse may be extinct. Fl. Sci. 51: 150–56.Google Scholar
  30. Hunter, M. 1990. Wildlife, forest, and forestry: Principles of managing forests for biological diversity. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  31. Jackson, J. 1978. Competition for cavities and red-cockaded woodpecker management. In Endangered birds: Management techniques for preserving threatened species, ed. S.Temple, 103–12. Madison: University of Wiscons in Press.Google Scholar
  32. Klein, B. 1989. Effects of forest fragmentation on dung and carrion beetle communities in central Amazonia. Ecology 70: 1715–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Knopf, F. 1986. Changing landscapes and the cosmopolitism of the eastern Colorado avifauna. Wildl Soc. Bull. 14: 132–42.Google Scholar
  34. Lalo, J. 1987. The problem of road kill. Am. For. 50: 47–49.Google Scholar
  35. Lewontin, R., Rose, S., Kamin, L. 1984. Not in our genes. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  36. Lynch, J., Whigham, D. 1984. Effects of forest fragmentation on breeding bird communities in Maryland. Biol. Cons. 28: 287–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. MacArthur, R., and E. Wilson. 1967. The theory of island biogeography. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Mader, H. 1984. Animal habitat isolation by roads and agricultural fields. Biol Cons. 29: 81–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mayfield, H. 1977. Brood parasitism reducing interactions between Kirtland’s warblers and brown-headed cowbirds. In Endangered birds: Management techniques for preserving threatened species, ed. S. Temple, 85–91. Madison: University of Wiscons in Press.Google Scholar
  40. McElveen, J. 1977. The edge effect on a forest bird community in north Florida. Proc. Southeast. Game Fish Comm. Conf. 31: 212–15.Google Scholar
  41. Meine, C. 1988. Aldo Leopold, his life and work. Madison: University of Wiscons in Press.Google Scholar
  42. Noss, R. 1983. A regional landscape approach to maintain diversity. Bioscience 33: 700–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Noss, R. 1989. The longleaf pine landscape of the Southeast: Almost gone and almost forgotten. Endang. Spec. Update 5: 1–7.Google Scholar
  44. Odum, E. 1985. Trends expected in stressed ecosystems. Bioscience 35: 419–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Office of Technology Assessment. 1987. Technologies to maintain biological diversity. O.T.A.-F-330. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  46. Oxley, D., Fenton, M., Carmody, G. 1974. The effects of roads on populations of small mammals. J. App. Ecol. 11: 51–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pelton, M. 1986. Habitat needs of black bears in the East. In Wilderness and natural areas in the eastern United States: A management challenge, ed. D. Kulhavy and R. Conner, 49–53. Nacogdoches, Tex.: Stephen F. Austin State University. Center for Applied Studies.Google Scholar
  48. Preston, F. 1962a. The canonical distribution of commonness and rarity: Part I. Ecology 43: 185–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Preston, F. 1962b. The canonical distribution of commonness and rarity: Part II. Ecology 43:410–32.Google Scholar
  50. Reese, K., Ratti, J. 1988. Edge effect: A concept under scrutiny. Trans. N. Am. Wildl. Nat. Res. Conf. 53: 127–36.Google Scholar
  51. Robbins, C., Dawson, D., Dowell, B. 1989. Habitat area requirements of breeding birds of the middle Atlantic states. Wildl. Monogr. 103.Google Scholar
  52. Robinson, S. 1988. Reappraisal of the costs and benefits of habitat heterogeneity for nongame wildlife. Trans. N. Am. Wildl. Nat. Res. Conf. 53: 145–55.Google Scholar
  53. Robinson, S. 1990. Effects of forest fragmentation on nesting songbirds. Report no. 296. Champaign: Illinois Natural History Survey.Google Scholar
  54. Samson, F., Knopf, F. 1982. In search of a diversity ethic for wildlife management. Trans. N. Am. Wildl. Nat. Res. Conf 47: 421–31.Google Scholar
  55. Sanderson, G. 1988. Raccoon. In Wild furbearer management and conservation in North America, ed. M. Novak, J. Baker, M. Obbard, and B. Malloch, 487–99. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
  56. Savidge, J. 1987. Extinction of an island forest avifauna by an introduced snake. Ecology 68: 660–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Soulé, M., ed. 1987. Viable populations for conservation. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Temple, S., Cary, J. 1988. Modelling dynamics of habitat-interior bird populations in fragmented landscapes. Cons. Biol. 2: 340–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Terbourgh, J. 1974. Preservation of natural diversity: The problem of extinction prone species. Bioscience 24: 715–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thompson, R., ed. 1971. The ecology and management of the red-cockaded woodpecker. Proceedings of a symposium. Atlanta: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
  61. Thomas, J., technical ed. 1979. Wildlife habitats in managed forests, the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington. Agriculture handbook 553. Washington, D.C.: U.S.D.A. Forest Service.Google Scholar
  62. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. 1978. Forest statistics of the U.S., 1977. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  63. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1987. Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi) recovery plan. Atlanta: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
  64. Whitcomb, R., Robbins, C., Lynch, J., Whitcomb, B., Klmkiewicz, M., Bystrak, D. 1981. Effects of forest fragmentation on avifauna of the eastern deciduous forest. In Forest island dynamics in man-dominated landscapes, ed. R. Burgess and D. Sharpe, 125–206. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wiens, J. 1976. Population responses to patchy environments. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 7: 81–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wilcove, D. 1985. Nest predation in forest tracts and the decline of migratory songbirds. Ecology 66: 1211–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wilcove, D., McClellan, C., Dobson, A. 1986. Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone. In Conservation biology, the science of scarcity and diversity, ed. M. Soulé, 237–56. Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer.Google Scholar
  68. Wilcox, B., Murphy, D. 1985. Conservation strategy: The effects of fragmentation on extinction. Am. Nat. 125: 879–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wiley, J. 1988. Host selection by the shiny cowbird. Condor 90: 289–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wolfe, L., Peters, E. 1987. History of the freeranging rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatto) of Silver Springs. Fl. Sci. 50: 234–45.Google Scholar
  71. Wood, D. 1983. Foraging and colony habitat characteristics of the red-cockaded woodpecker in Oklahoma. In Proceedings of red-cockaded woodpecker symposium II, ed. D. Wood. Tallahassee: Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission.Google Scholar
  72. Yahner, R. 1988. Changes in wildlife communities near edges. Cons. Biol. 2: 333–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Yahner, R., Cypher, B. 1987. Effects of nest location on predation of artificial arboreal nests. J. Wildl. Manage. 51: 178–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Yahner, R., Scott, D. 1988. Effects of forest fragmentation on depredation of artificial avian nests. J. Wildl. Manage. 52: 158–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yahner, R., Wright, A. 1985. Depredation on artificial ground nests: Effects of edge and plot size. J. Wildl. Manage. 49: 508–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc. and Diane C. Fiedler 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry D. Harris
  • Gilberto Silva-Lopez

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations